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<^it.L- 1 




^imt^, literature, atiD 3Cleligionr 



Including a minute Description of their Manners ami Customs^ 




By W. ward. 














In eDdeavouring to give the sounds of Siiogskrita words, the aathor has adopted a method, 
which he hopes unites correctness With ^simplicity, and avoids much of that confusion, which 
has been so much complained of on this subject. If the reader will only retain in his me- 
mory, that the short a is to be sounded as the short o in son, or the u in Burton; the French 
6, as a in plate, and the ee as in sweet, he may go through the whole work with a pronuncia- 
tion so correct, that a Hindoo would understand him. At the beginning and end of a word* 
the inherent vowel (o) has the soft sound of an. 


Introduction, page xxiv. line 2, for northern, read southern. In page xxv. line 7, for, the 
Hindoo philosophers, read, some Hindoo philosophers. In page li. line 1, for, nfew, read, 
clean. In page Ivi. line 16, for, deceased, read diseased. 

In page IJ, line 4, for, in the second volume, read, in page 167* In page 100,. line 28, 
for, soon destroyed them, read, soon destroyed the giants. In page 166, line 14, for, among 
the dead bodies, read, among the bodies. In page 167, line 7, for, when Ramu called, read, 
when Ramn was called. In page 170, line 27, for, friend Ravunu's body, read, piercing 

Ravnna's body. In page 204, line 23, for, actions are declared, read, which actions are de- 
clared. In page 212, line 7, for, to whom one bramhiin, read, for whom one bramhnn. In 
page 291, line 16, for, been endowed with lands, read, has been endowed with lands. In 
page 279, line 4, for gods, read, god. In page 330, line 26, read, which has made Kooroo- 


INTRODUCTION. — The Hindoo theology founded on the same philosophical notion as that of 

, the Greeks, that the Divine Spirit is the soul of the world— proved from the Greek writers, i.— 

from the Vedantfi-Sard, iL— A system of austerity founded on this system, iii. — Extract from 

the ShreS-Bhagdvatu on this subject, iv, v. — Account of the ceremony called yogfl, by which 

the Divine Spirit, dwelling in matter, becomes purified, extracted from the Patunjuia Darshnna 

and the Gorfikshu-snnghita, vi, vii. — No real yogees to be found at present — Absurdity of these 

opinions and practises, vii. — Another class of Hindoos place their hopes on devotion, viii. — ^The 

great mass of the population adhere to religious ceremonies ix, x. — Conjectures on the Origin 

of the Hindoo My thology--on images, as originating in moral darkness, and the depravity of men 

— those of the Hindoos not representations oftheoneGod — nor of his perfections — norof hu- 

. man virtues — ^nor of the objects of natural science, but in general the invention of kings, to please 

the multitude, xi, xii. — The doctrine of all the East, that God in his abstract state is unknown, 

and unconnected with the universe — the object of worship, the divine energy, subject to pas- 


sions, in consequence of its union to matter — the creation, of tb^gods first, xiii. — Proofs that 
the divine energy is the object of adoration, from the forms of the gods — the modes of worship 
— the common observations of the Hindoos on the phenomena of nature, xiv, xv. — The divine 
energy, the object of worship among the Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, &c. proved by quota* 
tions from various authors, ibid» — ^The subjects embraced by the Hindoo mythology, xvi. — The 
ancient idolatry of this people confined to the primary elements, the heavenly bodies, and aerial 
beings--the succeeding objects of worship, Brnmha, Vishnoo, and Shivu, the creator, the pre- 
server, and destroyer, ibid, — next the female deities, as the representatives of nature — then 
sundry deities connected witbcorrupt notions of Divine Providence, and aAerwards deified 
heroes, xviii. — ^The number of the Hindoo gods, ibid. — Benefits sought from different gods by 
their worshippers — Brnmha — his form — allusions of these attributes — conjecture of Mr. Pa- 
terson's examined, xx. — Vishnoo — the attributes of his image explained— conjecture of Mr. 
Paterson's noticed — Shivd, and the attributes of his image — remarks on the worship of the 
Lingn — resemblance between Bacchus and Shivu — two other forms of Shivd noticed, Kald- 
Bhoirdvdf and Muha-Kald, xxii, xxiii. — ^lodrii — Ydmu — Gdn6sh& — Kartik6yii, xxiv. — Soorytl 



2 co:^TeOTs. 

— Ugnce — Piivanfi, xxv.— Vfiroonft, Sumoodra, Prif hivSc, the heavenly bodies, xxvi..-Dooiii&, 
xxvii.— Kal^ --Lakshmee, xwiii. — Saruswiitee --Shlelala— Man'isa — Shasht'hee, xxix. Krish- 
na— -Jii-fmimt'lia, xxx.—llainu—Choitilnya — Vishwu-kiirma, xwi.— Kamu-devii — Satya Na- 
rayaau-.Piiiichanaaii — Diiurma-fhakoora—Kaloo-rayii-— deified beings in sfrange shapes— . 
worship of hiiinaii biiiiigs, xxxii. — Worihip of beasts — birds— trees, xxxiii.— Worship of rivers 
— fish — books — stones — a log of wood, xxxv.* Remarks on this system of mythology — on the 
use of idols in worship, xwv.-Jnlelicucy of many of the Hindoo images, xxxvi— Corrupt ef- 
fects of idol worship in this country — especially after the festivals, xxxvii. — The history (»f the 
goJs, aiiJ religious pdutoinimes, exceedingly increase these efiects, xxxviii. — Practises ol the 
vaaiacharcej add to the general corruption, xxxix, xl, xli.— Reflections on this state of things — 
causes of the p'^pularity of the festivals—remarks, with a view of correcting the false estimate 
male of the Hindoo character by the Rev. Mr. Maurice and others, xlii, xliii, xUv.— Idolatry 

exciting to frauds, —setting up of gods, a trade, ibid. Hindoo Temples—their use- -dedication 

of them, xlv.— Images, of whit materials made, xlvi. —Priests— Ceremonies at temples, xlvii.— 
Periodical ceremonies— daily duties of a bramhan — form of initiation into the Hindoo rites — 
the spiritual guide, xlix.— B ithiii^-— formi of wjrship before the idol, 1— -Extract from th« 
Ain Akbiiree— forms of praise and prayer— meditation— repeating the names of the gods, li.— 
Vows- -fasting — gifts to bramhiins — hospitality — digging pools — planting trees — rehearsing 
ail h/iriiiT; tlii p:jjr<i ifis, Jtc. liii.-Barning widows, and burning them alive — an afiorting 
relation by Captain Kemp— namber of these victims, Iv.--Visiling sacred places— atonements, 
Ivi.— Oiferings to the manes— heavens and hells, Ivii — Confession of faith made by a bramhnn, 
Iviii.— Remtrks on it, lix.— Sum of the Hindoo system — view of-its effects— -Remarks of the 
same bramhan on the present state of religion among his countrymen, Ix, Ixi.— Appeal auces 
in the streets, reminding the passenger of the different Hindoo ceremonies, Ixii.— This s}stem 
incapable of producing moral effects, notwithstandinij; the doctrine of future rewards and pu- 
nishments, Ixiii.— Errors inculcated in the Hindoo writings respecting God, Ixv, Ixvi.—Impure 
actionsof the gods— the gods counteracting each other in the government of the world, Ixvii.— 
Irreverence of the people towanls the goJs, t^/rf.— Contract betwixt Hindooism'and Christia- 
nity, Ixviii.. -Hindoo system aNcribes all sin to God-teaches the bramhun to despise the shoo- 
dni— exhorts to the extinclion of every virtuous passion — declares that sin is removed by the 
most trifling ceremony— supplier prayers for the destruction of enemies, Ixix.— Permits false- 

* In (lii^ liitroJuction, tfie author has ^one over the whole of the Flindoo Pinrheon, that be might supply 
.*ui]ber oi'oaii^bioas ia the baJy of (he work, and heace it forms an epitome of the whole. 


hood, and theft even from a slave, Ixx.— Works, said to raise men to heaven, not beneficial to 
others — remarks on the impurities and cruelties connected with this system, Ixxi. — Impossi-^ 
hie to know tlie Hindoo idolatry, as it is, without initiation. The dispensations of Providence- 
towards the Hindoos unfolded by this state of things -Happiness under the British government, 
Ixxii.— Misrepresentations of European writers noticed and reprehended, Ixxiii, Ixxiv, Ixxv.— 
Scripture Testimony against idolatry, Ixxvi, Ixxvii.— Of the seceders, or heterodox Hindoos, 
the Joinas, Bouddhas, Shikhs, and followers of ChoilunMl— the founders of all these sects, religi- 
ous mendicants, ixxviii.— Observations on the tenets of these seceders, Ixxx. 

'CHAP. I. Of Gody — The one God an object of speculation only; not a single temple erect- 
ed to his honour throughout the whole of Hindoost'hanu, 5 

Of the gods — their number, Three Hundred and Thirty Millions, <J 

Vishnoo, the source of all the Hindoo fivutarns, G. — Accounts of the ten uviitarus, 7 — 
Other nvtitaras, 11 — Meaning of these fables, 12 — Images of Vishnoo — mark of his fol- 
lowers — his names, 13~-His wive:s— his heaven, — » • ^^ 

Shivit. Forms of this god, lo-The lingii — resembles the phalli of the Greeks, 16 — Form 
of this god as Maha-Kaia — names and mark of the sect, 17-— Festivals — also the snnya- 
5e6 and swinging, ditto— Stories, 18 -Origin of these horrid rites, 23— Marriage of Shivii 

—fables respecting Shivn — names, 25— Description of Shivn*s heaven, • • 2C 

BrAmha. Account of the Creation — form of this god, 29 — Worship paid to him — he at- 
tempts to commit incest, 30— Heaven of Brumha— his names, 31 

/n^r4.. His image — festivals. 32 — account of a criminal intrigue, 33— Other fables, 35 — 

Heaven of Indrn — scenes in this heaven, in several stories — ^names of this god, • • 36 — 40, 41 
Soari/lt, His descent- — his festivals, 42 — anecdotes of this god, 44 — 45 — his Names,- • • • 46 

GUntshU, His image — descent, 47 — Birth— -worship — names, 49 

KartikeyU, His image—- descent, 50 — Festivals — names, • • • •' 51, 52 

Ugnee. His Form — descent — festival— ^wives — names, 53, 54 

Pttvilnil His birth — a story — his impure character — names, 55, 56 

Vtlroonn. His image — worship — fables— his heaven — his names, 57 — 59 

Ynmn, His image— festivals—his court as judge of the dead— his palace— fables respecting 

him, 60— '66-.-H is heaven—marriage— names^ «• 67 

•« Uo9t of heaven:' Remarks, C8, 69 

A 2 



Planets. Worshipped in a body, 70 — RHvee. His form— worship— commits a rape, 71 — 
Sotnit. His image— worship— names, Tl—MangiHH. His image— an evii planet, 74— 
BoodhU. His form— account of his birth, Ib—VrihUspMte. An auspicious planet— his 
image— names, 76 — ShookrU. His form — a fable— his blindness — a propitious planet — a 
fable— names, 77, 78 — Shitnee. His image — an evil and much dreaded planet, 79 — Rahoo. 
His image — received this* form at the churning of the sea — names — unaccountable coin- 
cidence in the customs of different nations respecting an eclipse — Kttoo. His image, 80, 81, B^ 

Doorga. Her descent— reason of her name, a fable, 83 — 86 — Festivals — image — ceremonies 
at her festival minutely described — bloody sacrifices — offerings — dances — a scene ^ 
Raja Raj-krishnu's at Calcutta— drowning the image, 87, 96— fables— the cow a form of 

Doorga — names, 97 — Ten forms of Doorga. Story from the Marknnd^yu poorauu, and 
another from the Chandee, relative to the wars of Doorga — names of the ten forms, 
98 — 101 — Descriptions of each of these goddesses, their images, festivals, <&c. 102 — 

112— Other forms of Doorga, • 113, lli> 

KaUe. Her image — anecdotes connected with it, 117 — Human sacrifices, 118 — Other hor- 
rid rites, 120 — Thieves worship her— a singular feet, Ibid. — Festivals — a scene at Kalee- 
Shankura-Ghoshn's, at Calcutta, L22, 123— The degree of honour formerly paid to this 
goddess by the Hindoo rajas, 124 — ^{mage and temple at Kalee-ghat described, 125 — 
This image much honoured, presents made to it by kings, merchanta, and even by chris- 
tians, 127, 128 — Statement of the value of the monthly offerings, 131 — Other forms of 

Kalee, • 132-^134, 

Lakshmee. Her descent — festivals, 135 — Another form of this goddess, • • > 136 

S^riUwiUce. — Her descent— -festival — indecencies practised at this time— names, 137 

SheetUla. Her image — worshipped during the small pox, • • • • 139 

M^iHsa.* Form and descent— festival, • 140 

Shitshtee. Her six festivals described, .......*••..• • 142 — 14S 

Inferior Celestial Beings worshipped* — UsoorUs. Their conduct at the churning of the sea, 
a story, lAe^-RakshUsas. Story of Koombhakurnu, lAS-^GUndhUrvUs, KinnUrUs, 

Fidyadh&rUs, Nayikas, Y^kshOs, Pishachils, Goohi/AkUs, Siddh&s, Bkobt^s, CharUntts, 

&c. • 152 


• This goddess is honoured as she who protects from serpeots : but the author is assured , that, in the upper pro- 
finces, the serpent itself is worshipped, and that the imafe is formed into a circle, the head and tail of the serpent 
being joined. The legend respecting this serpent-god is, that ihe earth rests on his thousand heads. 



Kriihnn. His birth— juvenile a€tions—-image— festivals, 153— 157~rmage of Radha— 

number of his followers, 15B— Stories of Krishna, • j^ 

Gopalm, His image — a story of this image found in a field, . • • • • • • • • jqo 

Gopee-nathA. A celebrated image of him at Ugra-d weepd, •••••- ^61 

J^UnnathA. Form of his image— origin of it— temples, 163— Festivals, 165 

JBAlMramA. Description of his image — vrorship, ,....• 166 

RamA. His history— war with Ravanu, 167— 170— His image— festival, 171 

ChoiiUnyU. Historyof this mendicant-god— festival, 172— 174— Another mendicant-god, . 175 

llsAwUkUrmU, Form of his image — festival, *• ^m 

Kamit-devU, Image — festival — a story — names, • , ^wg 

SlUtfit'Narai/iin&. Form of the image, • • • • 2»q 

Seetdy Radha, Rookminee and SUlyUbhama, and SoobhUdra, Iqq ^81 

PiknchanHnU. Form of the image — times of worship — a story, , • • • 182 183 

DhUrm&'ThakooHi. A form of Shiva, • •«.••. 184 

Kaloo-rayU^ KalU-bhoirUvIt, &c. • • • *. 1 35 186 

Beings, in strange shapes, worshipped, .....•,, -^^^ l^j 

Deified men and women, — unutterable abominations practised, • . . . . 192—194 

Worship 0/ beasts. The cow, 195— The monkey (Honooman) — marriage of two given by 
the raja of Nadeeya, who spent 100,000 roopees on the ceremony — anecdotes of this god, 

197 — the dog — the jackall — and other animals, I99 

Worship of birds, Garoorui — a fable— names, 201 — Other birds worshipped, a 202 203 

Worship of trees. The Tooldsee, &c. <fec 204 

Worship of rivers. Gunga — her image — descent — worship — festivals— strong attachment 
of the natives to this river — its saving virtues held up by the shastrus — stories relative 

to this superstition — children and grown up persons drowned in the Ganges many 

dying on its banks— extracts from the Skandnpoorano and the Gunga- Vakya-Vulee 

other deified rivers, •..••• • • , . 206—217 

Worship offish, 2\9— Worship of books, 220 

Worship of stones. The shalgramu*- different kinds— reason of its deification—constant 

representative of the gods in worship — other stones worshipped, 221—223 

• One of these stones, by a fall, being split asunder, was lately shewn to (he author. The internal appear- 
ance of this strongly indicates, that these stones are not, as has been supposed (see Asiatic Researches, ▼ol. Til. p. 
tlO) perforated stones, but petri6ed shells : the shell in the inside of this was the Argonauta Argo.— iWkj^ 8, 1815. 


A I'Z ff ttcid f»'.r:!ii| 1^6 221 

CH \P. IL OJ ike Ttmpht. Nine d.nVrcnt kinds described, 2"2(J — Temples of inanv di-ities 
in a ^uare, 227 — Dencaliou of itir.jiei — ceremouies, 220 — Endowment of teir}|»lt-s, . 231 

Of iKt Imazft- — Of what made, 2o2 — Coiisecralion of an image, — 234 — 235 

Oj tht PricAs. D.ilerent orciT* — ai.d ibcir €m}do%fnerJt^, 23G — 238 

0/tke vcvrihip in the Templts. In Sbi.u's temple^ — lu tboie dedicated lo Viihnoo, 239, 240 

CHAP. III. Of the times of Worghip. On Lunar days — weekly ceremonies — montbU and 
annual ditto — the festivals in each month — an extract from the Tit liet-Taiti^u, 241 — 
213— Daily duties of a bramLun, from the Anhiivn tnttwn, 244—250 — Present practice 
amoiig brambdns^ sbc^ Iras and %iomtu, as it respects the daily duties of religion, • • 251y2a2 

CHAP. IV. Drntiet and Certmcnics. Form of initiation into the Hindoo religion, 253 

Qualifications of a gooroo, or spiritual guide, 254 — Duties of a disciple to his gooroo, 
255 — Anecdote of a dying gooroo, • • 256 

lUligious austerities,* " ^^ 

Sacrifices — rules for them pravers, 259- -Human sacrifices — proot» fiom the shastins of 
their baling been offered — facts relative to present times, 2G0, 2G2— Sacrifice of a l-ult 
— a horse — an ass — at the birth of a son — after death — to the nine planets — otl-t-r sa- 
crifices, 203, 267— Burnt-offerings, 2(>8— Bloody sacrifices, 269, 270 

Bathing — ceremonies at, 271 — Drink-offerings to the gods, and ancestors, 272 

Ceremonies of n or»bip 'jtooja,) Ibtt/, 

Forms of Meditation, • 275 

Repeating the names of the gods, Ibid, 

Forms of Prayer and Praise to the gods, t27(j, 077 

Petitions and Vows — Vows, 27B 281 

Fast insr — Gifts — Entertaining bramhons, 282 — 285 

Hospitality to travellers -digging pools — planting trees, <fcc. (anecdotes) 285 — 288 

Readin? and Hearing the Pooranas, 288 

Sacred Reb^r«aU, 290 

Suspending of Lamps in the air, ••.••#•#••••• 291 

• Til':.': -j« bo: ritijioccj far /u . 'I*- yo^ci ;» a-jl a pcui:cat^ but a proud a»ceiic. 



Method of preventing Family Misfortunes, 292 

Ceremonies to remove the evilh following Bad Omens, ibid. 

Ceremonies while sitting on a dead body, • • .....••.. 293 

Ceremonies for injuring or destroying enemies, Ibid. 

Impure orgies with flesh, spirituous liquors, &'C. 295 — 297 

Burning of widows alive. Passages from the shastru on this subject, 298, 299-~Ceremonies 

' preceding ?he immolation, 300, 301— Many affecting relations of the burning of widows 

alive, 392 —308-— Widows of weavers buried alive, 309— Reflections on the state of 

mind oftlie widow, and on the conduct of the bramhuns-— calculation of the numbers 

burnt • 310—312 

Voluntary Suici le-— drowning in the Ganges — several shocking instances, 313 — 316 

Persons casting themselves from precipices, . • • • • 317 

D\ ins: under the wheels of Jur;unnaf hii's car, • • • • • • Jbidm 

Infanticide, still very prevalent, » 318—320 

Ascetics devoured in forests, '• 321 

Pilgrims perishing in cold regions, - Ibid* 

Calculation relative to the number of Hindoos who annually perish, the victims of supersti- 
tion, 322, 323 

Ceremonies performed on visiting holy places, • • • • • 324, 325 

Holy Places, the resort of pilgrims — anecdotes relating to pilgrims, 326 — 330 

Ceremonies at death, • • • ' • . . ...... 331 

Rites for the repose of the soul, - 332 — 336 

Purifications, • • • • 337 

Atonements for offences, 338 — 34G 

CHAP. V. Of a future state. Of the transmigrationof souls— extracts from, the Kijrmiivipakrf, 
and the Ugnee poorana — conversations on the subject of transmigration amongst the 

Hindoos, - 347-352 

Judgments passed on the dead by Yumd, • 353, 354 

Of future happiness — different kinds — the heavens described — works of merit raising to 
heaven—conversations respecting the stale of the dead — absorption— -method of ob- 
taining it, • • . 355— 3r*3 




Of future puQishments— extract from the Shree-bhagoTota— names and nature of the Hin- 
doo hella-..-a story, 362 — 366 

CHAP. VI. Hindoos iaints, or mendicants — extract from Mfinoo — remarks on the present 
' state of mendicity, 367 — 370— -Description of twenty kinds of mendicants, 371 — 375 — 
A scene at Ganga-sagaru,-- -a remarkable account — number of Hindoos living in a btate 
of mendicity — reflections, * 376--380 

CHAP. Vn. Hindoo Sects — Those among the orthodox Hindoos, • • 381, 382 

BouddhUs, The same with the followers of Fo, 383 — Rise of Bouddhism— aera of it rise, 
984 — Persecution of the Bouddhns, 385 — 'Sbastrns and doctrines of this sect, 387 — 
Teiuples-^^worship — colleges — festivals, 389 — 393 — ^Translation of the Substance of the 
T^mee Jatu, a Bu rman work on the incarnation of Booddha, 394 — 410 

The Joints. Rise of this sect-— account of Muha-veern — doctrines of the sect— -duties — 


sects, 411,421 — Bramhinical account of this sect — extract from the Booddhn poo- 
ranfl, 421--.427 

TheShikhs, Account of Nannkii and other leaders — their shastruj — sects-- form of ini- 
tiation — festivals — other facts, 431 — 439 — Translations from the Adee-GronfhO, elu- 

cidating the opinions of Naniikd, • 440 — 445 

Choitiinylk, and the sect founded by him, •••••• * 446 — 448 

An analysis of all the Hindoo Sects, from the Vid wnnmodfi«TArunginee> 449 — 457 

Concluding Remarks: — The object of worship the same throughout India, Tartary, Chi- 
na, Japan, the Burman empire, Siam, and the Indian isles, proved from the preceding 
accounts, and from diflferent works, . • t 458 4G2 

Scripture Illustrations, from Hindoo manners and customs, 463 — 460 




IDintKH) meUgton, 

THE whole system of Hindoo theology is founded upon the doctrine that the Divine Spirit, 
MS the soul of the universe, becomes, in all animate beings, united to matter; that spirit is in- 
sulated or individuated by particular portions of matter, which it is continually quitting, and 
joiniDg itself to new portions of matter ;* that the human soul is, in other words, God him- 
self; that the knowledge of this, leading men to seek complete deliverance from the degrading 
and polluting influence of material objects, is the only means of being reunited to the divine 
nature; that this deliverance from matter may be obtained in the present state by separation 
from human intercourse, the practise of bodily austerities, and entire abstraction of mind; 
and that if not obtained in one birth, is to be sought through every future transmigration 
till obtauied* 

* There mre two opinions aaOBf the Hindoos on this snbject, some philosophers maintainiof , (hat it is one 
ooal which is noited to sentient creatnres, while others support a contrary opinion, and affirm, that human souls 
most be emanations from the Great Spirit, otherwise, when one person obtained absorption into the divine na^ 
tore, all would obtain it at the same moment. The v6danlli philosophers teach, ' that God eiists in millions of 
forms, from the aat to Brfimha, the frand-fatber of the gods, as one moon is seen at once in twenty different pans 
of water.* 

The agreement betwixt these opinions and those of the Greek philosophers is very remarkable : ' Almost all 
ancient pbilosopben agreed in admitting two principles in nature, one active and the other passive, but they dif- 
fered in the manner in which they conceived these principles to subsist. Some held God and Matter to be two 
principles, which are eternally opposite, not only differing in their essence, but having no common principle by 
which they ean be united. This was the doctrine (aught by Anaxagoras, and after him by Plato, and the whole Old 
Academy. Thissystem, for the sake of perspicuity, we will call the Dualistic system. Others were convinced, 
that nature consists of these two principles; but finding themselves perpleied by the diffictilty with which they 
saw the Doaltstic system to be encumbered, that of supposing two independent and opposite principles, they 
supposed both these to be comprehended in one universe, and conc<*ived them to be united by a necessary and 
essential bond. To effect this, two^itferent hypotheses were proposed : some thought God to have been eternal- 
ly united to matter in one whole, wblth they called Chaos, whence it was sent forth, and at a certain time brought 
Into form, by the energy of the divine inhabiting mind. This was the System of Emanation, commonly em- 
l>i'aced by the aocient barbaric philoiophen, and afterwards admitted into the early theogonies of the Greeks. 




This dctrine is taught ia many parts of the Hiadoo writings, especially in the Darsfadnns ; 
ivhich works, though almost wholly speculative, make known a method of abslraction, to as- 
sist ascetics i^ obtaining deliverance from mortal birth. 


Udwnyanundu, a suny a see, and the compiler of 'the Essenceofthe V^dantu,' ^78» ' Bramha 
and life are one: that which pervading all the members of the body, gives to them life and mo- 
tion, is called jeevn, life : tliatwhich pervading the whole universe, gives life and motion to all, 
is Briimhu ; therefore these two are one. Every kind of matter is without life ; that which 
is created cannot possess life : therefore all life is the creator, or Brumhu : God is the soul of the 
world. This is the substance of the Vedantu philosophy.' 

Not onlv is God thus declared to be the soul of the world, but the writer of the above work 
affirms, that the world itself is God— God expanding himself in an infinite variety of forms : 
' All things past, present, and to come ; all that is in the earth, sky, &c. of every class and de- 
scription, all this is Brumhn, who is the cause of all things, and the things themselves.' Yet 
thb writer, in another part of this work, seeihs to affirm, that the universe is the work of God : 
• The principle of life is Brumhu ; that which is animated is the work of Brumhu,* who directs 
every thing, as the charioteer directs the chariot. Brumhu is everlasting and unchangeable; 
the world, which is his work, is changeable.' 

This work represents Briimhu, in his state of repose, as destitute of ideas or intelligence, and 
entirely separated from all iuleliigences. It describes this repose by comparing it to what- 

Others attempted to explain the subject mo re philosophically, and , to avoid the abgurdity which they conceived 
to attend both the former systems, asserted, that God, the rational and efficient principle, is as intimately con- 
nected with the universe, as Uie human mind with the Iwdy , and is a forming power, so originally and necessa- 
rily inherent in matter, that it is to be conceived as a natural part of the original chaos. This system seems not 
only to have been received by the Ionic philosophers, Thalcs and Anaximander, but by th e Pythagoreans, 
the followers of Heraclitns, and others, Zeno, determining to innovate ujjon Ihe doctrine of the Academy, 
and neither chusing to adopt the Dualistic, nor the Emanative System, embraced the third hypothesis, which 
though not originally his own, we shall distinguish by the name of the Stoical System. Unwilling to admit, on 
the one hand, two opposite principles, both primary and independent, and boUi absolute and inanite,or on the 
other, to suppose matter, which Is in its nature diametrically opposite to that of God, the active efficient c^use, 
to have been derived by emanation from him ; yet finding himself wholly unable to derive these two principles 
from any common sourc-s, he confounded Uieir essence, and maintained that they werew csscDtially uuitcd, thai 
tb«ir nature was one and the same.* Enfitldy page SS9, 330. 

 Or, as some writers explain it, exists as an effect, as heat is an effect of fire. 


ever may eommonicate the idea of undisturbed tranquillity ; to the bosom of the unruffled 

ocean ; or to the rest enjoyed in a deep sleep, in which there is an entire cessation even of 
the faculties of the mind. 

The V^danlfi writers add, that at certain revolutions of time, 'Briimhii, Hwaking from this 
repose, unites to himself his own energy, and creates the universe;* that as soon as souls are 
united to matter, they become impressed, according to their destiny, with more or less of three 
qualities,! as 1st, with that which gives rise to excellence of character; 2dly, with that which 
excites to anger, restlessness, wordly desire, &c. and 3dly, that which leads to inactivity, ig* 
norance, and such like errors. The character is formed, and the future destiny regulated, by 
the preponderance of any one of these qualities. Krishnfi Is represented in the Shree Bhagu- 
vut-Geetu fis teaching Urjoonu, that, *the man who is bom with divine destiny is endued with 
certain qualities, [here follow a number of excellent qualities ;] that those who come into 
life under the influence of the evil destiny, are distinguished by hypocrisy, pride^ presump- 
tion, harshness of speech, and ignorance ; that divine destiny is for eternal absorption into 
the divine nature ; and that the evil destiny confineth the soul to mortal birth/| 

The soul then, by these writers, is considered as separated from th^ source of happiness 
when it takes mortal birth, and as remaining a miserable wanderer in various births and 
states, till it regain its place in the divine essence. A devotee, sighing for absorption, is de- 
scribed as uttering his feelings in words to this purport, ^ When shall I be delivered from tbig 
world, and obtain God !' 

In consonance with these ideas, a system of devotion has been formed, to enable men to eman- 
cipate themselves from the influence of material objects^ and thus to prepare them for absorp« ' 
tion. In the first place, the devotee is to acquire the right knowledge of Brnmha, namely, that 

* * When BrfimliS wUhdraws bis energy, the deslniction of Che world succeeds 4 when he employs it, creation 
springs to birth.' the FidatUH-tarH. 

•^ The poGsession of more or less of any one of these qoalities is owing to the balance of merit or demerit io 
the preceding birth. Many Hindoo philosophers, however, have no idea of accoontability as the cause of reward 
or suffering : they suppose that all actions, good and bad, produce certain natural effects, which ripen in a fnture 
irtb, as poverty, disease, and wickedness, or riches, health, and works of merit. 

i See Wilkins's translatioD of this work. 



God and matter are the same ; that Bramha is the soul of the world, ' That error* which 
excites earthly desires, and impels to worldly exertions^ is destroyed/ says the writer of the 
work already quoted, * hy the knowledge of Brnmhu/ The person possessed of these ideas of 
God is called ' the wise man/ Br^mh^ gnaner, and he who is destitute of this knowledge b 
considered as in a state of pitiable ignorance, like an insect incrusted with matter. 

Further, to enable him to subdue his passions, and renounce all natural desires, he is direct- 
ed to retire from the world ; to counteract all his natural propensities, and to confine him- 
self to intense meditation on Brumhii, till he has thoroughly established in his mind this prin- 
ciple, that, * seeing every thing proceeded from Brnmhn, and that, at the end of the four yoogns^ 
when the universe shall be dissolved, every thing will be absorbed into him again, therefore 
Brdmhii is every thing/ 

The y^dantd-sarn says, ' There are four ways by which the knowledge of Brumhn is perfect- 
ed : ist. By that reflection, in which the person decides upon what is changeable and jvhat is 
unchangeable in the world; — 2dly, By cultivating a distaste of all sensual pleasures, and even 
of the happiness enjoyed by the gods ; ddly. By the following qualities, an unruffled mind, the 
subjugation of the passions, unrepenting generosity, contempt of the world, the rejection of 
whatever obstructs the acquisition of the knowledge of Bramhu, and 4thly, By unwaveriug faith 
in the shastrus, added to the desire of absorption/ 

Krishnd, in his conversation with Urjoonii, makes the perfection of religion to consist in 
subduing the passions, in perfect abstraction from all objects of the senses, and in fixing the 
whole mind on Briimhfi : I extract a few paragraphs from Wilkins: * A man is said to be con- 
firmed in wisdom, when he forsaketh every desire which entereth into his heart, and of himself 
is happy, and contented in himself. His mind is undisturbed in adversity, he is happy and 
contented in prosperity, and he is a stranger to anxiety, fear, and anger. Such a wise man is 
called a sage. The wisdom of that man is established, who, in all things, is without affecti« 
on, and having received good or evil, neither rejoicetfa at the one, nor b cast down by the other, 
liis wisdom b confirmed, when, like the tortoise, he can draw in all hb members, and restrain 
them from their wonted purpose.* * The wise neither grieve for the dead, nor for the living/ 

* Error here refers to the false idea, that a man's self and spirit are diferent, as that I is anj thiaf dif- 
ferent from spirit. This idea of the separate existence of I, leads to the idea of mim, and thos to every worldly 


*Tbe wise maD, to whom pain and pleasure are the same, is formed for immortality/ * The 
heart, which foUcweth the dictates of the moving passions, carrieth away the reason, as the 
storm the bark in the raging ocean/ * The man whose passions' enter his heart as waters run 
into the unswelling placid ocean, obtaineth happiness/* * Even at the hour of death, should 
he attain it, he shall mix with the incorporeal nature of Brumhii/ ' The man who may be 
self-delighted and self-satisfied, and who may be happy in his own soul, hath no interest either 
in that which is done, or that which is not done/ ' The learned behold Brnmhn alike in the 
reverend bramhnn perfected in knowledge, in the oi^and in the elephant ; in the dog, and in 
him who eateth of the flesh of dogs/ * Those whose minds are fixed on this equality, gain 
eternity even in this world. They put tlieir tnist in Br&mhu, the eternal, because he is every 
where alike free from fault' ' The enjoyments which proceed from the feelings, are as the 
wombs of fiiture pain/ ' To the yoge^ gold, iron, and stones, are the same/ * The yogSe 
constantly exerciselh the spirit in private. He is recluse, of a subdued mind and spirit; 

free from hope, and free from perception* He planteth his own seat firmly on a spot that 
is undefiled, neither too high nor too low, and sitteth upon the sacred grass which is call- 
ed kooshji, covered with a skb and a cloth. There he, whose business is the restraining of 
his passions, should sit, with his mind fixed on one object alone, in the exercise of his de* 
votion for the purification of his soul, keeping his head, neck, and body steady without 
motion, his eyes fixed on the point of his nose, looking at no other place around/ * The 
man whose mind is endued with this devotion, and looketh on all things alike, beholdeth the 
supreme soul in all things, and all things in the supreme soul.' ' He who having closed up 
all the doors of his fiiculties, locked up his mind in his own breast, and fixed his spirit in his 
head, standing firm in the exercise of devotion, repeating in silence, Om ! the mystic sign of 
Brumhn, shall, on his quitting this mortal frame, calling upon me, without doubt, go the jour- 
ney of supreme happiness.' / He my servant is dear unto me who b unexpecting, just, and 
pure, impartial, free from distraction of mind, and who hath forsaken every enterprize. He is 
worthy of my love, who neither requireth, nor findeth fault, who neither lamenteth, nor co« 
veteth, and being my servant, hath forsaken both good and evil fortune ; who is the same in 
friendship and in hatred, in honour and in dishonour, in cold and in hcaf , in pain and in plea- 
sure ; who is unsolicitous about the events of things ; to whom praise and blame are as one ; 
who is of little spirit, and pleased with whatever cometh to pass ; who owneth no particular 

* ThU 18 strBDge doctrine in the moath of Krishnft, ivho spent his yoath in licentious amours, and afterwards 
coluLbited withRadha, the wifeof Ayant-ghoshfi, while he retained 1600 mistresses. 


home, and wbo is of a steady mind/ ' Wisdom is exemption from attachments and affection 
for children, wife, and home ; a constant evenness of temper upon the airival of every event 
vvhetber longed for or not ; a constant and invariable worship paid to me alone ; worshipping 
in a private place, and a dislike to the society of man.' 

A most singular ceremony, called yogii, is said to have been formerly practbed by ascetics 
to prepare them for absorption. I give an account of this ceremony from the first part 
of the Paliinjulu Dttrshiinu, and the Goriikshu-sungliita : 

The yogee must in the first place, by medicines (here described) reduce the appetites of the 
body, and increase its strength; hemustthen learn the proper posture for the ceremony ; this 
posture may be various, but a particular one is here enjoined : the yogee is to put his legs across 
in a sitting posture, and to hold his feet with his hands crossed behind him. The next 

act of austerity is that of learning to Inhale and discharge his breath, in doing which he is to 
take apiece of cloth fifteen cubits long and four fingers in breadth, and swaUow it repeatedly, 
drawing it up and taking it down his throat, drinking water at intervals. He must next choose 
a seat on some sacred spot, at the bottom of a vutu tree, at some place frequented by pilgrims, 
near an image of an uncreated lingu, or in any place peculiarly pleasant to a yogee ; but it 
must be a secret one. That on which he must sit may be either kooshu grass, or the skin 

of a tyger or a deer, or a blanket ; he must not sit on wood, nor on the earth, nor on cloth ; 
his back, neck and head must be exactly erect, and he must remain motionless, keeping his 
eyes fixed on his nose. The act of yogn consists of several parts : the devotee must first with 
his thumbs and fingers prevent the air from issuing through his eyes, ears, nostrils and mouth, 
and with his feet bind up the two other avenues of respiration. This he is to practise by de« 
grees till he is able to exist without inspiration and respiration. He who is thus far perfected 
will be able to subdue his passions, and to disrelish all the pleasures of the senses. Should 
the mind, at any time, be again entangled in worldly attachments, the devotee must study the 
essential virtue of things, as, that the world u a dream ; that God is the all in all, and thus bring 
back the mind to abstraction. He is next to meditate on his guardian deity according to the 
rules of the shastru. After thus annihilating, as it were, the body and the world, he is then to 
fix in his mind that he and Briinihu are one, and so to settle this point as never to lose sight of 
it, nor return to earthly attachments. From this state of mind arises complete pleasure ; be 
becomes dead to food and to every other bodily want. 


Tke yogSe who has attained this state of perfection becomes emancipated in the following 
manner : ivhile he sits confining the air within his body> and closing his eyes, by the power of 
wisdom all his members become dead to action; he unites the energy which is lodged in the 
body to the soiU, and they both ascend by means of the veins and arteries to the skull, from 
which the soul escapes, by the basilar mture, and, the body being thus shaken off, he is reunit- 
ed to the supreme soul.* 

The V6danta-sani also pronounces in favour of an opinion of the philosopher ShankilrJi, that 
the practice of ceremonies is to be renoonced by the person seeking absorption, in whom all 
desires respecting himself are to be annihilated. 

From the preceding sketch, the reader will be able to form som)e idea of this System of Hin- 
doo theology, which is doubtless very ancient. No yogees, however, now exist, who perform these 
bodily austerities to the extent laid down in the shastrus. A number of mendicants may be 
seen, who profess to aim at abstraction* of mind, and contempt of the world; but they are in ge* 
neral the greatest sensualists in the country. 

Amongst the learned, a few are to be found, who consider the attainment of divine wisdom, 
as the only means of securing future beatitude : these persons either renounce all worldly con- 
nections and become pilgrims, or they remain in a secular state, and ground their expectations 
(if they have any) of future happiness, on Uieir speculative opinions being less gross than those 
of the vulgar. As an apology for not practising severe austerities, and^for continuing in a se- 
cular state, they quote a sentence of Junnku, ' A man does not become a hermit by residing in 
a forest; but he is a hermit^ who, even in his own house, subdues his passions.' Some of these 
persons despise the popular superstition. 

The absurdity and impiety of the opinions upon which the practices of these yogees ai« found- 
ed, need not be exposed : the doctrine which destroys all accountability to the Creator, and re- 
moves all that b criminal in immorality, must be condemned by every good man ; and the ab- 
surdity of rejecting those rational enjoyments which at once prove the beueficence of the Crea- 
tor, and contribute to the refinement of our nature, is so flagrant, that the slightest notice of 

• For forihcr remarks on absorption, and on (hose mendicants who practice austerities leading to U,Uic re^ulcr 
li referred to pages 361, 376, ;^77, and 378. 


it may surely be considered as more than necessary to the discbarge of our duty to tb« inte- 
rests of christian morals. 

The author may however remark, that he has had many opportonities of witnessing the per- 
nicious effects of the belief, that it is God in man who is the author of every volition, and that 
evil and good actions are both to be referred to him« A Hindoo, perverted by these ideas, 
does not perceive the evil of ascribing every villainous action to God; though when the dread- 
ful and unavoidable result of this doctrine has been pointed out, many revolt from the conclu- 
sion. Under the influence of this doctrine, that the human soul is God, the crimes of a male- 
factor lose their turpitude, and he is bewailed as a person who has acted under unfortunate influ- 
ence, or as one bom with evil destiny. It is ako easy to perceive, that where such a belief 
prevails, all efforts to fly from evil, and to attain moral perfection, are out of the question : 'God 
does every thing;' 'My evil destiny follows me every where, as a shadow the body,' is the me- 
thod by which the Hindoo accounts for all his evil propensities and unjust actions. 

Another class of Hindoos place a greater reliance on devotion than on divine knowledge. 
They derive their opinions from different parts of the Hindoo writings, and from fisivourite books 
of their own, as the Madhyd-bhashyd, Bhuktee-rdsamritnsindhoo, &c. One of the sentiments 
of this sect is thus given in the SbreS-Bhagnvdttt : 'He who, renouncing the service of God, 
enters the path of wisdom, (practises religious austerities) works hard at bruising the straw* 
but obtains only chaff.' Another of their poets has a verse to this purport: ' He who dies 

at Kashee obtains absorption: true; but the cause of his emancipation is his devotion.'— * 

Vurahu, a poet belonging to the court of Vikrfim^adityu, says, personifying a person of (his 
sect, ' Oh God! I ask not for the merit of works ; nor for riches ; nor for fame ; I leave all this 
to hie ; nor do I refuse to endure the fruit of my actions ; but this I ask, that, through every 
transmigration, 1 may be thy devoted servant/ Vilwu-mungniu, another poet of this sect, says, 
addressing himself to Vishnoo, ' O god! I desire not absorption. I ask for a distinct existence, 
and to be always near thee, as my lord, and master.' Some of these persons express attach- 
ment to tiieir guardian deity in the most familiar acts of devotion — as his friends, or servants; 
in songs or prayers ; by bowing or making offerings to bis image, by washing its feet, by re- 
peating his name, or listening to his praise, or meditating on his qualities. Tliesc persoq^ 
are mostly found among the followers of Krishnu and Clioitunju. 

Such a worshipper presents himself before the ima^e of I^rishnd, and says^ ' Oh, t*hakooru ( 


tboli art God, the maker of the world, the saTiour, the friend of the friendkss : I am destitute : 
I ma th J servant ; snve me !' Otbers, more fervent in their attachment. omiUing the usual puri^ 
fications and ablutions before morning worship^ hasten, as soon as they rise» to pay all those 
marks of respect and attention to the image which belong to the character under which they 
wor^p it« For instance, one man's image is that of the infant Krishnii : he imagmes it neces- 
s^, that the god should be honoured as a child, antt he therefore makes an offering of sweet- 
meats to him early in the morning ; he is very careful too that the image should be laid down to 
rest, and raised up again, only at the appointed hours ; he bathes, anoints it, and adorns it with 
the utmost fondness. Songs in praise of Krishnu are very common amongst this sect; and 

sometimes an enthusiast falls to the ground while singing, and exhibits all the symptoms of super- 
stitious frenzy. These persons reject many of the Hindoo ceremonies ; but they repeat the 
name of Hrishnd, worship the common images of this god, and observe the national festivals to 
his honour. Some individuak are directed in their religious duties by the Hindoo writings : 
but the great body are enthusiasts, following the impulse of feelings enkindled by their own im> 
pure imaginations.' Some of them wander from village to village, proclaiming the name and 
reciting the pnuses of Krishnd. 

Those who reverence the philosophical doctrine, and those who thus adhere to devotion, form 
however but a very small part of the Hindoo population. The great majority of the commu- 
nity are attached to the popular ceremonies, considering them as at least hading to the know- 
ledge of God, or as laying in a stock of merit which will influence their condition in this or a 
future birth. 

The other branch of Hindoo theology enjoins keligious duties, as preparing a person 
for that state which leads to absorption. Krishnii, in his address to Urjoond, thus holds up the 
value of religious practice : ' Perform thy duty, and make the event equal whether it terminate 
in good or evil. The miserable are so on account of the event of things. Wise men^ who 
have abandoned all thought of the fruit of their actions, are freed from the chains of birth, 
and go to the regions of eternal happiness.* Jttnukii and others have attained perfection 

• Mr. Wilkim has thus (ramlated this part of ebe BhagttvSttt, but the fact is, that there is no disUnet happiness 
in the Hindoo absorption, becaase there is no remainia^ individuality. The spirit being liberated from every 
thing which is not spirit, and absorbed in the ocean of universal spirit, or deity, there can be no such Ihiog as 
individual enjoyment. The Hindoos illustrate theic idea on this subject, by comparing the soul \a air conHned 
in a Teasel, jrhich, when the vessel breaks, is immediatdy lost in the vast bod; of air which composes the atmos- 




even by works. Wise men call him a piiiidit, whose every undertaking is free from the i(le» 

of desire. He abandoneth the desire of a reward of his actions ; he is always contented and 
independent, and although he may be engaged in a work, he, as it were, doth nothing. God 
is to be obtained by him who maketh God alone the object of his works. The speculative 
and the practical doctrines are but one, for both obtain the self-same end, and the place which 
is gained by the followers of the one, is gained by the followers of the other. The man, who, 
performing the duties of life, and quitting all interest in them, placeth them upon Brumhu, 
the supreme, is not tainted by sin ; but remaineth, like the leaf of the lotus, unaffected by the 
waters.' ' If thou shouldest be unable, at once, stedfastly to fix thy mind on me, endeavour 
to find me by mean^ of constant practice. If after practice thou art still unable, follow me 
in my works supreme, for by performing works for me thou shalt obtain perfection/ 

This brings us to the popular superstition of the Hindoos, of which I shall now endeavour 
to give a summary account, beginning with their mythology. 

It is very difficult, perhaps, to speak decisively on the precise origin of any of the Ancient 
Stf sterna of Idolatry ; but not so difficult to trace idolatry itself to certain natural causes, and 
to prove, that the heathen deities owe their origin to the common darkness and depravity of 
men; who, rejecting the doctrine of the divine unity, and considering God as too great or too 
spiritual to be the object of human worship, chose such images as their darkness or their pas- 
sions suggested. Hence idolatry has arisen out of circumstances common to all heathen nati- 
ons; which fact, aud another hereafter mentioned, will account for many coincidences in the 
mythology of nations the most remote, while differences in manners and customs, and in the de- 
grees of civilization, may account for most of the diversities found in the images and worship of 
different idolatrous nations. 

It is not to be supposed, that any of the images invented by the heathen were intended to 
be representations of the One God, according to the ideas given of this adorable Being in the 
sacred scriptures ; they are images of beings formed by the fancies of men who " by wisdom 
knew not God.'' It is probable, indeed, that no heathen nation ever made a single idol in ho- 
nour of " the one living and true God," and that direct worship to him was never offered by 
any heathens. 

Nor does it appear, from the various systems of idolatry, that the heathen regarded tne gods 
as intercessors with the Supreme Being. It is certain that no such idea exists among the Hin- 


doos» who never worship the One God, either directly or through the intercessions of others. 
The gods ure regarded as the only divine beings from whom evil is to be dreaded, or good to 
be expected. It b true, I have heard the bramhuns often speak of the worship of the gods 
as introducing the worshipper to a greater approximation to final beatitude but this has no* 
thing to do with the Christian doctrine of mediation. 

Writers on heathen mythology have frequently supposed, that the extraordinary bodily or- 
gans of the gods were intended to represent the perfections of Deity. Such writers, in eln« 
cidating the Hindoo system, would have said, Indrii is represented as full of eyes,* to exhibit 
the divine omniscience ; Brnmha with four faces, to display the perfect wbdom of God ; and 
Doorga with ten hands, to teach that God is almighty. It is a fact, however, that the Hin- 
doos are never thus instructed by the forms of their idols. When the author once interrogat- 
ed a learned bramhun on this subject, he rejected this christian explanation of the forms of 
bis idols, and referred him to the image of Ravdnu, the cannibal, who is painted with a hun- 
dred arms, and ten heads.f 

It has been common too to represent the idols as personifications of the virtues, and as teach- 
ing, by hieroglyphics, a theory of morals. As it respects the Hindoos, hqwever. the fact is, 
that they have still, for popular use, a system of morals to seek ; some of their idols are ac- 
tually personifications of vice, and the formularies used before the images, so far from convey- 
ing any moral sentiment, have the greatest possible tendency to corrupt the mind with the 
love of riches and pleasure.^ 

To the author it seems equally improbable, that the original framers of idols designed to 
teach by them a system of natural science. The distance of time betwixt the formation of dif- 
ferent images, militates strongly against such an idea; men of science, also, have generally 
held idolatrous rites in contempt : but before a man would sit down to frame an image, to teach 
th% sciences, his mind must have been enthusiastically attached to idolatry. Nor does it 

appear probable, that the Hindoo poets were the first who set up idol worship ; though we 

* Hie Hindoo fable on this subject ia so insafferably sro«, that U cannot be printed. 

+ Thns, Briareos, one of (he monsters bronebt forth by the earth. Is said to have hod a handred arms, with 
which he threw op to heaven the rocks from the sea-shore against Jnpiter. 

t See Mr. Co1ebrooke*s translation of many of these formnlariet, in his excellent Essays on the Religions Cere- 
monies of (he Hindoos, in, the vtb and viith yoIs. of the Asiatic Researches. 

B 2 


admit, that many ideas oa this subject were borrowed from their extravagaQt descriptions, antt 
ethereal visions. The introduction of new idob seems, in most instances, to have been the 
work of kings, who sought the gratification of the populace, rather than their instruction, 
and the exhibition of popular sentiments, rather than the teaching of profound mysteries, or 
the principles of science. It appears from the Bramhn-voivurtta pooranu, that king Soo- 
rdt'hii first set up the image of Doorga ; king Mangala that of Lakshmee; Ushwn-patee, that 
of Savitree, the wife of Bromha ; king Sooyngnd, that of Radha, the mistress of Krishna ; Rdm- 
y&rnfhO, king of Oojjuyinee, that of Kartik6yil;. king Shiva that of Sooryd, and the sage 
Boudhayiina that of Gan^h&. 

The author imagines, that the disclosure of real facts respecting the Mythology of the Hin- 
doos, would greatly tend to elucidate the origin of that of all the Eastern nations ; 
and he here offers to the consideration of his redders a conjecture or two, the fruit of his own en* 
quiries. The philosophers of all these nations conceived, that the Great Spirit remains for 
ever unknown, that he neither comes within the thoughts nor the speech of men. . In the chan- 
dogyn oopunishud of the Rig vedu, we have a discourse on this subject, in which Shw^ta' 
ketoo enquired of Boudhayanu, respecting Brumhd : the sage answered him by an impressive si- 
lence : on being called upon for the reason of this silence, he answered, *' BHitnhA is undescri" 
bahle : he who says, ' I know Brfi.nha/ knows him not ; he who says, ' 1 know him not,' has ob- 
tained this knowledge. The v^da declares, that " he is that which has never been seen nor 
known." In other words, he is the Athenian " unknown God." The one God is never wor- 
shipped by the Hindoos as a mere spiritual being, but always as united to matter, and before 
some image. 

When Brnmhn resolved to create, according to the pooranus,* he* looked uponf that which 
is denominated by the Hindoo philosophers delusion, or inanimate energy,! *nd became subject 

• The Shree.Bha|^¥&ttt, &c. The Noiyayikiis declare, that the nniverse itas created from atoms, while (h^ 
Meeiiian|;siULQs, eqaally wise, affirm, that the cojuequences of actions were the odIj thiogs united to birth. 

f « Or," as the word is explained by some Hindoo scholars, *< the arst inclination of the Giodhead to diYersify 
hiautlf^ by creating worlds." Sir W. Jones. 

t It b called delusion, or appearance, to shew, that it is somethiof assumed for an occasion, and which, 
when that occasion is serred, will be destroyed : hence they say, that matter is from everlasting, but is subject 
to destruction. It is called iaaaioute energy, as it supplies the formi of thia«^i, thott^ji the vivifying principle 
is God. 



to the three qpalities (gooniis) of which it is composed, that which leads to truth, aod is called 
satlfiy that which excites desires, (riya) aad that which leads to sensuality (t&mu). He now 

created time, nature, and future consequences; the primary elements, the organs of sense, of 
action, and of intellect ; he next became the first form, or pattern, or the aggregate, of life, uid' 
individuated himself into separate portions of animal life; and then, under the name of Vbh« 
noo, he created the uniyerse from the waters, and entered it as the soul of the world. 

While Vishnoo lay asleep on the waters, a lotus ascended from his navel, from which sprung 
Brftmha, the creator. Shivu, Vbhnoo, and Briimha, are Considered as the representations 
of the three goonfts : Vishnoo of the suttu goonu, Brnmha of the ri^d, and Shiyd of the tftmu. 
We have no regular account of the creation of Vishnoo and Shivu. Almost all the other 

Hindoo deities are found to be derived from the three principal gods : Indrd, Kam&-d6vu, 
Doorga, Sooryn, Ugnee, Puvdnu, Vnroonn, Guroorn, Vishwu-kurma, Sdr&sw&tee, Yi&mn, &c. 
are the descendants of BtHrnka ; — Gun^shn, Jngnnnat'bd, Buluramtt, Ramn, Krishnd, Gopalu* 
Gopee-nat'hn, Valu-Gopalu, Choitunyn, ^utyu-Naray&nii, L&kshmee, &c. are forms of VUh- 
noo : — ^Kartik^yA, Punchandi|d, Roodrn, Kald*Bhoir&vd, &c« are forms of SAtvU. '' Thus/' 
as Sir W. Jones has observed, "We must not be surprized at finding, on a close examination » 
that the characters of all the Pagan deities, male and female, melt into each other, and at last 
iiito^qe or two/' 

But the enquiry returns, "What is the object of worship among the Hindoos V It is not the 
One God, but this compound being, the soul of the world inclosed in matter, the primeval 
energy, the prolific and vivifying principle dwelling in all animated existences,* or in other words 
the personification of whatever the disordered imaginations of the Hindooshave attributed to 
this God encompassing himself with delusion.f This energy is said to have created the uni« 
verse, and therefore this, as displayed in the grandest of the forms it assumes,^ is the object 

* When the follihilng lines of Pope were read to Gopalti-tiirkal&nkarS, a learned bramlifin, he started from 
his seat, be^^d for a copy of them, and declared that the aathor must have been a Hindoo : 

" All are bat parts of one stupendous whole^ 
Whose body lialnre is^ and God the soul ; — 
IVarms io the sun, refreshes in the breeze, 
Glows in the stars,. and blossoms in the trees; 
Lives through all life, extends throogh all extent, 
Spreads nndlvided, opei;ate8 unspent." 

t The Tfiatriis teach, that after Brfimhil had entered the world, he divided himself into male and female. 
t '* It seems a well founded opinion, that the whole crowd of |;odsand goddesses in Ancient Rome, and mo- 
dern V&n4res> mean only the po wen of nature, and principally those of the Son, expressed in a varier}- of ways, 


xir Ihthoductory remarks 

4>f worship. Hence the gpds, thi& heavens collectively, the sun aod moon, as well as the stars, 
the sea, mighty rivers, and extraordinary appearances in nature, receive the adorations of the 
Hindoos.* This energy itself has been personified and worshipped, not only in the form of 
BhugavuLee,t but, as it is manifested equally in creation, in the gover^imeot of the world, and 
in the work of destruction, in Brumha, Vishnoo Shivn. The universe being fuU of the divine 

majesty,, a deity has been consecrated as the regentof every element : and, to complete this mass 
of folly, the bramhan and the devout mendicant, as sharing more largely of the indwelling dei- 
ty, have received the adoration of the multitude. 

If we recur to the bodily powers of the different images worshipped by the Hindoos, we 
see the same principle exhibited : htnce Ununt& has a thousand heads ; Brumha has four faces ; 
Indru is full of eyes ; Doorga has ten, and even Rav^u, the giant, has an hundred arms ; — ^the 
formidable weapons; of the gods too, have evidently the same allusion, as well as their sym- 
bols and vehicles, among which we find the eagle,§ the serpent, the lion, the tyger, the ele- 
phant, the bull, the buffaloe, &c. The abominable lingu worship too (the last state of degra- 
dation to which human nature can be driven) no doubt took its rise from the same doctrine. 

Under the influenre of this doctrine, the philosophic mind, chose, as the objects of its adora- 
tion, the forms in which this energy dbplays itself with the greatest magnificence, and almost 

and by a muUitade of fancifal names." — ^ir W, Jonei. '< Nature herself, and its plastic powers, orif ioatioK 
lolely in the sovereis^n energies of the supreme creative source of all being, they (the Asiatics) absurdly dignifi- 
ed by the majestic denomination of God. This supreme creative energy, diflfused through nature, they dblin- 
guished by various names ; sometimes it was Osiris, the fountain of Liort, the Suit, the prolific principle by which 

that was invigorated ; sometimes is was the life generating Fire, the divine offspring of the solar deity i and it 
was sometimes called by an appellation consonant to the Soul of The World. The First Vivinc Pbihciflb, 
emaning from the primeval source of being, is visibly of Chaldaic Origin, and thence, through the mediom of the 
Egyptians, the Stoic philosophers doubtless had their doctrine of '* the fiery soul of the world," by which thej 
supposed all things to be created, animated, and governed." Maurice, 

• « They (the pagans) called the elementary fire Pitha, Vulcan, Ugnee $ the solar light they denominated 
Osiris, Mithra, Sooryu, Apollo, and the pervading air, or spirit, Cncpb, Naraydnii, Zeus, or Jupiter." if^iiric^. 

f Many Hindoos are denominated shaktSs, as devoted to the worship of this shiiktee or energy. It is remark- 
able, also, that all the goddesses are called the energies of their lords, as well as Matrees, or mothers. 

$ Indriii's thunder-bolt ; the BrUmhastrili, a weapon wielded by the gods, which infallibly destroys an ene- 
my. ** Vishnoo' s cbfikra, a weapon in the form of a circle, continually vomiting flames."— Jfanrice. 

^ Vishnoo riding upon hu G6roor«, or eagle, says Maurice, puts us in mind of the thunder-bearing eagle of 
the Grecian Jupiter. 



•onfined its worship to the primary elements, the heavenly bodies, and aerial beings ;-^the 
great body of the community became attached to this energy in its forms of preservation ; ^per- 
sons of gloomy habits, as ascetics and yogees, adored it in the work of destruction, as connect- 
ed with emancipation and with return to inefiable repose in the divine essence. The first class 
chose the retirement of forests as the scene of their contemplations; the second, the public 
streets, to adore the prolific power; and the last retired to gloomy caverns,* for the celebration 
of those horrid rites, which took their rise in the common error, that the energetic principle 
is the chief object of worshipw 

Thus the indwelling principle is adored ih whatever form it is supposed to display itself, in 
the cow as a form of Bhugnvutee, in the boar as an incarnation of Vishnoo, and in an asce- 
tic, who has passed through religious austerities supposed to be too dreadful to be borne with- 
out support from the divine inhabiting energy. Exactly conformable to the Hindoo idea was 
the declaration respecting Simon Magus, " this man is the great power of God/' 

The object of adoration being thus simple power, or energy, wherever this is supposed t» 
reside, the impiety of the possessor forms no obstacle to his becoming an object of worship: 
it is sufficient that he be a god or a bramhun. * The learned, says Krishnii, behold Brumhu alike 
in the reverend bramhun, perfected in knowledge, in the ox and the elephant ; in the dog, and 
in him who eateth of the flesh of dogs/ Upon the same principle, the Hindoo, when he sees 
the force with which the flood-tide comes into the Ganges, or any other similar phenomena of 
nature, recognises it as God, or the energy of God.. The blessing which he supposes a yogee 
obtains, as the fruit of his religions austerities, he confines to power — power to heal or to kill 


others, to ride in the air on the back of a tiger, to foretel future events, &c. Benevolent disposi- 
tions and actions procure for a man praise, but not reverence. Howard would have obtained 
the encomiums of this people, and wguld have been complimented on the exaltation he was 
likely to have in the next birth, but no body would have worshipped him; this honour is always 
reserved for men of preterided supernatural powers* 

If these conjectures be just, they may perhaps aflbrd a solution of the difficulties attending the 

• The Scythians, the Druids, aod other ancient natioDS, it is well known-, worshipped this energy in i tide* 
stmctive forms in gloomy recesses, and there offered human and other Yictimi. Id the caverns of SalMtte afid 
Elephaata too the same horrid rites were practised by gloomy ascetics* 


worship of the Egyptians/ the Scythians^ the Gr^ks, the Persians, and other iddators : some 
of them adoring, by sanguinary rites, this principle in its destructive forms, and others in its 
prolific forms, fire, and the solar orb.t It is the same, energetic principle that is also wor- 
shipped m the wonderful motions of the heavenly bodies, and in the conflicting gods and the 
giants, shaking to its centre the solid worid ; in the warring elements ;t and even in all the forms 
of brute matter in which it appears. 

These ideas the author offers to the examination of men of greater leisure and eradition, 
not without the hope, that they may tend to elucidate a subject exceedingly complicated, and 
upon which a great variety of opinions have been held. As the same ideas respecting the 

divine energy were held in common by almost all the ancient philosophers, it b not wonderful 
that the same objects of worship should be seen among allnations^ subject to those variations 
and additions which might be expected when man had abandoned the doctrine of the divine 
unity, and b^d resolved to worship every form and appearance of this energy. 

The Hindoo mythology, in its present mixed state, presents us with gods of every possible 
shape, and for every possible purpose (efoen to cure the itch !) but most of them appear to refer 
to the doctrine of the periodical creation and destruction of the world ;§ — the appearances of 
nature,|| — the heavenly bodies,* — ^the history of deified heroes, t — ^the poetical wars of the gi- 
ants with the gods4— or tp the real or imagined wants of mankind.§ 

« *< Taut or Tboth, was the (roe Anubb of the Egyptians, one of their eight greater god«. Thotb coDsiders the 
cosmogODy of Phoeaicia as founded on the doctrine which maiotains two (irlbcipies in nature, Matter or Dark- 
ness, and Spirit or Intelligence. By the former, he would undelvtanH the chaoi, ohsrure and turbid ; by the 
latter, the agitative wind, or spirit, which put that chaos In motion, and ranged in order the nuions parts of the 
uniyerse."— JIauWce. 

f In this island of Albion, the image of the sun was placed upon an high pillar, as half a man, with a face 
full of rays of light, and a flaming wheel on his breast. He was worshipped id the same manner as Mithra in 
Persia, and the diyinities of Hie Baiftt The Persian Magi preserved a continual fire upon an altar in honour of 
the sun and the lights in the firmament, as the Romans did their holy fire dedicated to Vesta. The Jewish wri- 
ters affirm, that this was the god Abraham refused to worship in Ur of the Chaldees.'* Galtruchiut. « The sun 
became the deity adored by the Sabian idolators.*'-- Jfinincs. 

t " Sees God in clouds, and hears him in the wind.'* 

S As Bri&mha and Shiffi. | The deified elements, as Fttvfiofi, V&rooni&, &c. • So7ry9, ChiSndrS, &c. 

4 Rami, who, in reference to his forest residence, is painted green, and carries a bow and arrows. % Door- 

*ga, who hat a giant at her feet, and the head of another in her hand. The author will not presume to decide, 

whether these wan of the gods have reference to human contests, and as such are to be regarded as real history 

disguised in fable, or whether images of this class have been borrowed merely from the reveries of the poets. 

5 S&rttsvT&tee, the goddess of learning, Unnfi-pournii, the goddess of plenty, &c. 


It cannot be doubted, from what has been published of the T^das, said to be the most an« 
cient of the Hindoo writings, that the p rimary ELEMENTS, fire, air, water, earth and space, 
with the HEAVENLY BODIES, and AERIAL BEINGS, were the first objects of worship among 
4his people. 

The worship of the primary elements possibly originated in the doctrine of the v^dus res- 
pecting the eternity of matter, for we find in these writings the elements deified, and called bj 
appropriate names, as in the modem mythology of the Hindoos. 

The worship of the heavenly bodies may probably be attributed to the astronomical notions 
of the Hindoos : and, as the worship of heathens has always been dictated by their fears and 
hopes rather than by their reason, it is not a matter of surprize, that they should have wor- 
shipped the host of heaven, while they believed the stars to have such a mighty and immedi- 
ate influence on their destiny here and hereafter. In the prayers of the v^dus, the name of 
Indrn is found, who was probably considered as a personification of the heavens : his name^ 
Indrii, signifies the glorious ; and his body, covered with stars, might easily be supposed to 
resemble * the spangled heavens/ 

The worship of arial beings, under the general name of spirits, is easily accounted for from 
the proneness of mankind to superstitious fears respecting invisible existences, and from the 
notion found in the Hindoo writings, that every form of animated existence has its tutelar di- 
vinity presiding over it.* 

These appear to have been the first gods worshipped in India, though such a system of my- 
thology could in no way account for the existence and government of the universe ; which ex* 
hibited a process for which this system made no provision. This might therefore induce 

later Hindoo theologians to add three new gods, under the characters of the Creator, the 
Preserver, and the Destroyer, Brumha^ Vishnoo, and Shivtk, and the pooranils exhibit 
each of these gods at his post, committing faults and absurdities that would disgrace beings des- 
titute of every spark of divinity, and even of reason. 

• Diseases alflo,and divisions of time, as weH as places, have tiieir totelar deities. The ^od Bhttgtt, who is 
blind of both eyes, presides over the members of the body, 



A philosophical doctrine found in tl^ Tantras, having reference to the supposed union of 

spirit and matter in the formation of the world :* has introduced an order of female deities 
among this people, at the head of which stands Bhugnvutee, or Doorga. Of this goddess, 
many forms are worshipped among the Hindoos ; and indeed almost ail the goddesses are only 
different forms of Bhuguvateii as the image of Prukritee, or nature. 

Jugunnat'hu, the lord of the world, Koovdra, the god of riches, Kamu-d^vu, the god of love. 
Kartik^yn, the god of war, Yamii, the regent of death, and Vishwa-kiirma, the architect of 
the gods, seem to have originated in the fables of the Hindoos, and in the imagined necessities 
of a people destitute of just ideas respecting Divine Providence. 

Krishnu, Ramn, and other terrestrial gods, are evidently deified heroes. 

These general remarks may probably account for the whole system of Hindoo idolatry, with- 
out the absolute necessity of admitting that this people borrowed their gods from their neigh- 
bours. That they borrowed some, or the features of some, many striking coincidences here- 
after mentioned seem to indicate ; but, these coincidences excepted, we have found no further 
evidence of this fact.t 

I shall now give some account of the gods found in the Hindoo PANTHEON,t as a very 
brief notice of what the reader has to expect in this volume. 

It may be necessary, however, to premise, that the Hindoos profess to have 330,000,000 of 
gods ; not that they have even the names of such a number, but they say, that God performs 
all his works by the instrumentality of the gods^ and that all human actions, as well as all the 
elements, have their tutelar deities. 

Images having been chosen to fix the mind of the worshipper, and attributes of power and 

• Mr. Patenon thinks, that the mixed image of Httrfi-Goare?, in which Shivii and Doorf^aare united in one 
image, is intended to represent this union. 


f Should the reader, however, be inclined to pursoc this subject, he will find much ingenious conjecture, and 
many apparent resemblances betwixt the Egyptian, Greek and Roman mythology and that of the Hindoos, in 
Mr. Paterson^s essay already alluded to. 

t The Hindoos have no temple like the Pantheon at Rome, but , the palaces of some Hindoo rajas contain courts 
filled with idoUi each of which has an establishment of priests, who daily perform the ceremonies of worship. 


splendour* and various fables, having been added, in the forms of devotion and tlic addresses 
to the gods, all these attributes arc recognized, and the contents of these fables rehearsed, to 
raise in the mind of the worshipper the highest thoughts of the power of the idol. 

He who approaches an idol, seeking the happiness of a future state, is required to fix in his 
mind only one idea, that the god can save him: and in thia respect all the gods, however vari- 
ous their images, are equal ; but when a Hindoo is anxious to obtain any peculiar favour, he ap- 
plies to tbe god whose province it is to bestow it :' thus, he who prays to Brumha, entreats that 
he may be like him, in order to absorption ; but he who is anxious that his members may continue 
perfect, and that he may enjoy the pleasures of the senses, worships Indru ; he who desires chil- 
dren, prays to the progenitors of mankind ; he who seeks worldly prosperity, worships Liiks- 
mee ; he who prays for a shining body, supplicates Ugnee ; the person who is anxious for strength, 
applies to Roodru ; the glutton prays to Uditee ; he who pants for a crown,' applies to Vishwii- 
d^vu or Swa}Uiubboovu; a king intreats Sadhyn, that his kingdom may be free from sedition; 
he who prays for long life, addresses himself to Ushwinee-koomaru ; he who desires corpulence, 

addresses ?rit'bi\ee; he who prays that he may preserve his homestead, petitions Prit'hivee 

and the regents of space; he who seeks beauty, prays to the Gandhurvus; he who prays for a 


good wife, calls on Oorvusee, a celestial courtezan ; he who seeks honour, prays to Ydgnd ; he 
who is anxious for store-houses full of wealth, calls on Pruch^ta ; the seeker of wisdom, soli- 
cits the favour of Siiivu ; he or she who seeks union and happiness in tbe marriage state, ad- 
dresses Doorga; he who wishes to destroy his enemy, supplicates Noiritu ; he who is anxious 
for strength of body, prays to Vayoo; he who prays to be preserved from obstruction in his af- 
&irs, calls on Koov^ru ; he who prays for the merit of works, applies to the regent of verse ; 
he who prays for pleasure in the enjoyment of earthly things, addresses Chundrd ; he who de- 
sires freedom from worldly passions, he who asks for the completion of all his desires, he who 
prays for absorption, and the person free from all desire, worship Brumha. Hence it appears, 
that all the Hindoo gods, except Brumha, are considered as bestowing only temporal favours ; 
and it has been already observed, that this god has been abandoned, and left without either 
temples or images. Thus the whole system excites in the mind of the worshipper only cupi- 
dity, and the love of pleasure ; and to this agrees what I have repeatedly heard from sensible 
brambnns, that few if any persons now attend the public festivals with a direct view to a fu- 
ture state. 


It h common for the Hindoos to speak of some of their gods as benevolent, and to treat 



Others as malignant beings:* Shivu, as well as other gods, unite both these qualities: in one 
hand Shiva holds a dreadful weapon, and with two others he blesses the worshipper, and in- 
vites him to approach. Not one of these images^ however, conveys the least idea of the mo* 
ral attributes of God. 

1. BrUmha. This god may be properly noticed first, as he is called the creator, and the 
grand-father of gods and men; in the latter designation he resembles Jupiter, as well as in the 
lasciviousness of his conduct, having betrayed a criminal passion towards his own daughter. 
Brdmha's image is never worshipped nor even made ; but the Chnndee describes it as that of 
a red man with four faces.f He is red, as a mark of his being fiiU of the ruju goonn; he has 
four faces, to remind the worshipper that the v6dus proceeded from his four mouths. In 
one hand he has a string of beads, to shew that his power as creator was derived from hisde- 
votion. The pan of water in his left hand points out, that all things sprang from water. It 
has excited much surprize, that this deity, so pre-eminent, should be entirely destitute of a 

temple and of worshippers. Mr. Paterson supposes, that, in some remote age, the worship- 
pers of Shivd carried on a contest with the followers of Brumha, and wholly suppressed the 
worship of this god. This conjecture opens a wide field of enquiry ; but this gentleman does 
not adduce any historical evidence of the fact. The story of Shivu's cutting off one of the 
heads of Bnimha, and the existence of violent contentions betwixt different sects of Hindoos at 
the present day, can scarcely be considered as establishing it, though the conjecture appears 
not altogether improbable. These contentions^ for superiority are annually renewed at Huree- 
dwaru, Uyodhya, &c. betwixt the Voishnuvus (Ramatus) and the followers of Shiva, in which 
quarrels manyperish.| 

9. Vishnco, This is the image of a black man, with four arms, sitting on Giiroord; a crea- 
ture half bird half man, and holding in his hands the sacred shell, the chnkra, the lotus, and a 

• Hindoo women, ftod the lower orders, regard Piinchanai.a, DttLahiou-raya, MfinJisa, Shcctftia, Sbttshfbee, 
4c. as malignant demons, and worship them through fear, still prajring to them for protection. The superior del- 
ties, though arrayed with attributes of terror, are considered as using their power only in favour of the wonhip- 

f Br&mha had five heads, but ShivO deprived him of one, as a punishment for his lust. 

t Raja-Ramtt, a learned Shikh, employed 9s a translator in the Scrampore printing-office, says, that aboot 
forty years ago, not less than 10,000 persons, and, about twenty years ago 4 or 5000 perished in these contests at 
Hfiree-d wai a. Another proof, added to that rcspecUng the Bouddhiis, that the Hindoo is not free from the ficr- 
ccst spirit of persecution. 


dttb. His colour (black) b that of the destroyer, which is intended to show, that Shivu and be are 
one : he has four hands, as the representative of the male and female powers ; the shell (blown 
on days of rejoicing) implies that Vishnoo is a friendly deity ; the chnkrft is to teach that he 
b wise to protect; the lotus is lo remind the worshipper of the nature of final emancipation, 
that, as this flower is raised from the muddy soil, and after rising by degrees from immersion 
in the waters, expands itself above the surface to the admiration of all, so man b emancipated 
from the chains of human birth; the club shews that he chastises the wicked. Gnroord b a 
portion of Shivn ; his body represents the v^n. Vishnoo is distinguished as being the source 
of most of the Hindoo incarnations; in which forms he commands the worship of the greatest 
division of the Hindoo population. I know of no temples nor festivals in honour of Vbhnoo* 
He is called the Preserver, but the actions ascribed to him under this character are referred 
to other forms and names. The shalgramii, a stone, is a form of Vishnoo. During four 
months of the year, all the forms of this god are laid to sleep. From the agreement of thb 
fact with what b said of Horus, Mr. Paterson gathers a resemblance betwixt Vishnoo and Ho* 
rus, and supposes that the Hindoos derived their system from the Egyptian : he conjectures 
also that the fable of Vishnoo's lying down to sleep, turning to one side, and rising, refer to the 
increase, the greatest rise, and the retiring of the waters of the Ganges, the Indian Nile. The 
state of the river in these four months agrees with this supposition, though the bramhuns Icon* 
suited were not aware that this ceremony had any connection with the Ganges. Vishnoo b 
sometimes called the household god. 

^. ShivA is a white man with five faces and four arms, riding on a bull. In one hand he 
holds an axe, as the destroyer of the wicked; in another a deer, alluding to a sacrifice, when 
the deer, fleeing from the sacrificial knife, took refuge with Shivd; with another hand he is be* 
stowing a blessing, and with the last forbidding fear. Four of his faces are designed to point 
out the sixty -four tdntrus, and the other a different tuntru. The bull is a form of Vishnoo as 
the personification of religion ; its four feet are, religious austerities, purity, compassion, and 

truth. In some particulars, thb god strongly reminds us of Vulcan and Bacchus. The few Hin- 
doos in Bengal who adopt ShivA as tbeir guardian deity are called soivyus. Except those of 
the lingu and of Punchanuno, very few temples exist in honour of any other form of Shivu : 
aad none of his form riding on a bull. Before the lingu, Shivu is however daily worshipped 
under eight separate names, answering to the sun, moon, wind, fire, water, earth, air, and an 
officiating priest at a sacrifice. Mr. Paterson thinks, that there were once fierce contentions 
amongst the four principal sects, and that as the soivyus first prevailed against the worshippers 


of Bramha, so, in its turD, this sect was subdued by the followers of Vishnoo and of the female 
deities. The filthy appearance of Shiva as a mendicant covered with ashes, and his quar- 
rels with Doorga, his wife, have given rise to several ludicrous stories found in the poorands. 
This marriage excited tlie same surprise as that betwixt Venus and Vulcan, and seems an un-- 
accountable event, unless it was intended to illustrate thegross^dea of theTuntru writers res-, 
pecting the origin of the universe. Shivd has three eyes like Jupiter, wears a tyger's skin 

like Bacchus, and like him wandered about when on earth as a bloated mendicant, accompani- 
ed by satyrs. Bacchus wore a deer's SKin ; and Shivn is represented as holding a deer in his 
hand. The worship of the lingu also, strongly resembles the worship of the phallus in honour 
of Bacchus. The sunyasee festival in honourofShivd (see page 18)appears to resemble much 
the orgies of Bacchus, especially in the behaviour of the devotees,* who are said to have run up 
and down the streets with their hair disheveled, and with lighted torch^ in their hands. In the 
months Voishakhu and Kartiku, the linga is worshipped daily in the numerous temples dedicat- 
ed to this abomination throughout Bengal. It is difficult to restrain one's indignation at the 
shocking violation of every thing decent in this image; nor can it be ground of wonder, that a 
chaste woman, faithful to her husband, is scarcely to be found among all the millions of Hindoos, 
when their very temples are polluted with filthy images, and their acts of worship tend to in- 
fiame the mind with licentious ideas.t Another form of Sbivii is that ofKalik^BhoirHviky in 
which form he cut off Brdmha's head, which is seen in one of his hands. A sect of mendi- 
cants, called yogu-bhogu vadees, who wear a large stone inserted through an incission in each 
ear, live at the temples of this god, and are sometimes seen, with a prostitute in one hand, and 
a pan of hot coals in the other, with each of which (the represtotatives of pleasure and pain) 
they profess to be equally pleased. Another form of this god is that of MUha-kalA, in which 
he appears as the destroyer. * Muha-kalA, as represented in the caverns of Elephanta,' says 
Mr. Paterson, * has eight arms ; in one hand he holds a human figure ; in another, a sword or sa- 

* A most singular coincidence appears to exist here betvvixt the Hindoo and Roman ceremonies: These sttn- 
yasecs, though faken from the lowest order, wear the poita as bramhtins daring this festival. Kennett, in his 
Roman Antiquities, book v. p. 305, says, respecting the shews after afanerii], ' Though the exhibitors of these 
shews were private persons, yet during the time of the celebration, they were considered as of the highest rank 
and quality, having the honour to wear the Pretexta.* 

f I am credibly informed , that a Hindoo, once on a visit at a temple near Serampore, asked the officiating 
bram'tftn to give him a proof that the idol was able to converse with him. The bramhfio entered the temp1e,8hnt- 
ttng the door after him, and the visitor, astonished at Immediately bearing voices, interrogated the priest respect- 
ing it. who solemnly affirmed from within, that it was Ji!ig5nnat*h& who was speaking; — hot the visitor, determin- 
ed to ascertain so in(ere>ifing a fact, forced open the temple door, and— -whom shoald he see, inqnisitive reader, 
but the mistress of the officiating bramh&n. 


crificial axe ; in a third, a basin of blood, and with a fourth he rings over it the sacrificial bell; 
two other arms are broken off, but with the two remaining he is drawing behind him a veil» 
which extinguishes the sun» and involves tiie whole universe in one undistinguished ruin. In 
the hieroglyphic of the Miiha Prulayu, (or grand consummation of all tilings), Shivii is repre* 
scnted as trodden under foot by Muha Kalee,* or Eternity. He is, there, deprived of his crescent, 
trident, and necklaces, to show that his dominion and powers are no more, and is blowing the 
tremendous horn, which announces the annihilation of all created things.' 

4. IndrH, This is the king of heaven, and the infamous violator of the wife of his religious 
guide; he b painted as a yellow man, sitting on an elephant, with a thunderbolt in one hand, 
and a club in the other ; and like Argus is full of eyes. All the attributes of his image are only 
the signs of his office as a king. He has one annual festival, and is very fiunous in the pooranAs 
for the number of wars and intrigues ia which he has been engaged. His throne changes 
masters at the end of seventy-one yoogils of the gods. Jupiter was called the king of heaven, 
and the Fulminator; Indru's names Divfls-pfitee and Viijree, are significant of similar^offices. 

5. YitmM, the Indian Pluto, is a dark green man, clothed in red, with inflamed eyes ; he sits 
on a buffaloe, has a crown on his head, and holds in his right hand a club with which he drives 
out the soul from the body, and punishes the wicked. This is his form of terror, as king 
of the souls of the dead, but he is also worshipped in a form less terrific, which he is said to 
assume when he passes a sentence of happiness on the meritorious. Beside his annual festi- 
val, he is worshipped on other occasions ; and receives the homage of the Hindoos in their dai- 
ly ablutions. There are several remarkable coincidences between Yama and' Pluto, as will 
be seen by comparing tlie fable* resptcUog the latter and those in page 60 of this work : the 
images of both ' grin horribly a ghastly smile. ' Pluto bad a rod in his hand ; Yumfl is called 
Dnndn dhorfl, because he holds in his hand the rod of punishment. Yuma is theshraddhu 
d^va, or the regent of funeral rites ; and the institution of funeral obsequies is ascribed to Pluto. 
The dead, in going to Yflmu's judgment hall, cross Voitnrunee, the Indiai^ styx,t the waters of 
which, like those of Phlegethon, th| fourth river of hell which the dead were obliged to cross, 
are said to b^ boiling hot. Yumii has several assistants like Minos, who keep a register of hu- 
man actions. ^ There is something in the story inserted in p. 67, which seems to coincide with 
Pluto's being obliged to steal his wife Proserpine because he could obtain no other goddess, 

• This is the famoos image wonhipped at Kalee-Ghatii, near Calcutta. 

i This river encircled the infernal regions nine tunci : Yoitliriincc encircles Uiii hall fix Umei. 


his visage being so horrible^ and his habitation so gloomy. The Hindoos consider hell as si- 
tuated at the northern extremity of the earth ; the Greeks and Romans thought it was a large 
subterraneous spot in the earth. 

6. GUnhhii, A hi short red man, with four arms and an elephant's head, sitting on a rat. 
His corpulency is a type of Brumha, as the aggregate of all things. In one hand he holds a 
bell, which is the pattern of a temple, and also points out that this god banishes fear ; in ano- 
ther he holds a serpent-weapon, to show that he throws impediments in the way of the wicked; 
another grasps the hook by which elephants are guided, which points out that he guides the 
mind ; and with, the other he forbids fear. His elephant's head is a sign of the mystical 
sound Ottif (>J), and the trunk is a type of the instrument with which clarified butter is pour- 
ed on the fire at a sacrifice. The author of the Roodru-yamiilii, from whom this is extrac,t- 
ed, assigns no reason for Guneshu's riding on a rat. Though he has been compared to Janus, 
I find but two instances of coincidence betwixt them : every act of worship (pooja) is preced> 
ed by a9 invocation to Gnn^shn;* and men in business paint his image over the doors of their 
shops, or suspend it amongst their merchandize, to insure prosperity. Gdn^shn has been 
complimented as the god of wisdom, but the Hindoo deity presiding over knowledge, or wis- 
dom, is Surnswutee, a goddess. Gan6shu receives many honours from the Hindoos, and is 
considered as bountiful in bestowing wisdom and other fiivours, though there are no temples 
erected to his honour in Bengal, Those who adopt him as their guardian deity are called 

7. KariiKyik is the Indian Mars, or commander in chief to the gods. He has in some 
images one, and in others six fiices, is of a yellow colour, and rides on the peacock, an incar- 
nation of Indru. In one hand he holds a bow, and in the other an arrow. He is worshipped 
as the giver of bodily strength. 

8. Sooryn, (the sun). I do not find the least resemblance betwixt this Hindoo deity and Sol, 
either in their images or history. The Hindoos, in a most indelicate fable respecting this god, 
have described the twelve signs of the zodiac. Yumu, the regent of death; is his son, and 
Chaya, a shadow^ the name of one of his wives-f The image of Sooryft is that of a dark red 

• In the Roman sacrificeB, the priest always mentioned first the name of Janus. Xenntlt^ p. 85. 

+ The pooranfis contain a fable respectinjg Sooryfi and his wife, which almost literally corresponds with the 
flUby story of Neptnne and Ceres when the latter turned herself into a mare. 


man, from whose body issue a thousand streams of light; he has three eyes» and four arms: 
in each of two of his hands he holds a waler-lily, with another he is bestowing a blessings and 
with the last forbidding fear. He sits on a red lotus in a chariot drawn by seven horses. He is 
painted red, to show that his glory is like flame; his three eyes represent the day, evening, and 
night ; and his four arms indicate, that in him are 4inited prikkritee and poorooshu, or matter 
and spirit. One lotus explains the nature of emancipation (see VUhnoo), and the other, upon 
which the rays of Sooryd are reflected, is a type of sound, which the Hindoo philosophers be- 
lieve to be eternal. The red lotus represents the earth; his chariot, the measure of time, 
and the seven horses the seven poetical measures of the vidds. The image of this god is never 
made, but the siin itself is worshipped daily ; the shalgramd is also his constant representative 
in the bramhinical worship. The disciples of this god are called Sourus. 

9. VgntCy the regent of fire, is represented as a corpulent man, riding on a goat, with cop- 
per-coloured eye-brows, beard, hair, and eyes ; his belly is the colour of the dawn ; he holds 
a spear in his right hand, and a bead-roll in his left: from his body issue a thousand streams 
of glory, and he has seven flaming tongues. His corpulency points out, that he grants the 
desires of his worshippers ; the colour of his eye-brows, &c. represents the flame of the burnt- 
offering when it ascendsof a copper-colour, at which time, he who desires secular blessings offers 
his clarified butter : but he who desires emancipation, pours his offering on the fire when its ^ 
colour is like that of the dawn. The goat teaches, that Ugnee devours all things ; his spear, 
that he \s almighty, and his bead-roll, that he is propitious. The rays of glory are to encou- 
rage the worshipper to expect that be shall obtain the greatest blessbgs from this god. Ugnee 
has neither temples nor images consecrated to him, but has a service in the daily ceremonies of 
the bramhuns, and one class of his worshippers, called sagnikd bramhtins, preserve a perpetual 
fire like the vestal virgins.* He presides over sacrifices, and is called the mouth of the gods. 

10. Plkvikna, the god of the winds, and the messenger of the gods, is represented as a white 
man, sitting on a deer, holding in his right hand the hook used by the driver of an elephant. 
He is painted white, to shew that he preserves life. The deer represents the swiftness of his 
flight; the elephant driver's hook explains his power over the body. He is worshipped daily, 

* There seems to be do order 4>f females amon; the Hindoos resembliog these virgtas^ bat many Hindoo wo- 
men, at the total wane of the moon, to fulfil a tow, watch for tirenty-foar boars over a lamp made with clarified 
b«tter, and preveot its beiDg eztingatshed iill the time for the appearance of the new moon. 



but has neither separate festival, image nor temple. I can find little or no resemblance be- 
twixt this god and Mercury. 

11. Viiroonii, the Indian Neptune, is a white man sitting on a sea animal, having a serpent- 
weapon in his right hand. He is painted white, to shew that he satisfies the living ; and he 
wields a terrific weapon, to point out, that he b approached with fear by the worshipper. His 
name is repeated in the daily worship of the bramhans, but he has neither public festival nor 



12. Siimoodrii, the sea, is worshipped by the Hindoos when they vbit the sea, as well as at 
the diflferent festivals, and on the sixth day after the birth of a child. 

13. Prit'hivee, the earth, is worshipped daily by the Hindoos. She is a form of Bhuguvulee, 
and may be called the Indian Ceres. The Hindoos have divided the earth into ten parts, and 
assigned a deity to each ; these are, Indrn, Ugnee, Ydmn, Noiritu, Varoonn, Vayoo, Koov^ru, 
Eeshn, Br&mha, and Unilntfl. 

14. ne heavenly bodies. It is a remarkable fact, that almost all heathen nations have fallen 
into the worship of the heavenly bodies. Perhaps the evident influence which the sun and moon 
have over the seasons and the vegetable kingdom, might, in the primeval ages, lead men to 
make them objects of worship; after the introduction of judicial astrology, this species of idola- 
try becomes less surprising. Whatever may be the antiquity of the vedus, it is very plain, that 
the worship of the sun, moon, and other planets, is there inculcated ; many of the forms of 
praise and petition in those books, are addressed to the heavenly bodies; and to this day the 
worship of all the planets in one service, and of different planets on separate occasions, has place 
among the Hindoos. 

Mvee* the sun. See the article Sooryo. Som4,i the moon. We do not perceive the least 
agreement betwixt this god and Diana. The Hindoo feasts are regulated by the revolutions of 
the moon, but Soma is not greatly honoured in the Hindoo mythology, being esteemed a malig- 
nant planet, as is also MUngiil1i,X or Mars. Booddhit,^ or Mercury, is a fortunate planet, 

• From (bis god the first day of the week is named RSvec-varu, as Sunday derives its name from the Son : day 

and vart are synonymoas. + Hence Somfi-varii, Monday. J MftngWiJ-varS, Tuesday. S Booddh-vanl, 


and so is VriklUpiktu,* or Jupiter, who b the preceptor of the gods. Shookrii,i or Fenus, 
preceptor to the giants, is also a fortunate planet. This god is represented as blind of one 

eye. ShUnee^l or Saturn, the son of Sopryu, an evil planet. Rahoo and K6too, the ascend- 
ing and descending nodes. The planets are not honoured with temples, imager or festivals, 
in Bengal. When hope or fear, respecting their benign or malignant influence, is excited in 
the mind of a Hindoo, he is drawn or driven to worship them. 

15. Doorga. The image of this goddess and that of Minerva, in one or two instances, ex- 
hibit a pretty strong resemblance : both are described as fond of arms ; and it is remarkable, 
that Doorga derives her name from the giant Doorgu, whom she slew, as Pallas (Minerva) ob- 
tained hers from the giant Pallas, whom she destroyed. She resembles Minerva also as a god- 
dess difficult of access, which is one signification of the name Doorga. Sir W. Jones says, 
** As the mountain-born goddess, or Parvutee, she has many properties of the Olympian Ju- 
no : her majestic deportment, high spirit, and general attributes, are the same ; and we find 
her both on Mount Koilasd, and at the banquets of the deities, uniformly the companion of 
her husband. One circumstance in the parallel is extremely singular: she is usually attend- 
ed by her son Kartik^yu, who rides on a peacock ; and in some drawings, his own robe seems 
to be spangled with eyes; to which must be added that, in some of her temples, a peacock, 
without a rider, stands near her image.'' The image of Doorga is that of a yellow female with 
ten arms, sitting on a lion. The weapons she wields, the trident, the scimitar, the discus, the 
arrow, the spear, the club, the bow, the serpent- weapon, the hook for guiding an elephant, 
and the axe, are to point out, that with these ten arms and weapons she protects the ten points. 
She has one foot on Mnh^shd, a giant, to shew that she subdues the enemies of her worshippers ; 
and she sits on a lion, a form of Vishnoo, as the giver of success to her worshippers, and as ex- 
citing fear in their enemies. The quarrels of this goddess with Shivu, her husband, strongly 
remind us of those betwixt Jupiter and Juno, arising from the jealousy of the latter. The 
festivals in honour of Doorga and of Krishna draw the whole Hindoo population to the temples^ 
while those in honour of other gods are comparatively neglected. Before the temples of this 
goddess, thousands of victims are annually slaughtered, and offered to her image. She is 
not merely honoured as Doorga, but, under other names, distinct temples, images, festivals, 
and ceremonies, have been instituted. Doorga, as has been already observed, is also the repre- 
tentative of matter in the creation of the universe, and in this character she is called Prukri- 

• Yrihfisptttce-varB, Thursday. + Shookrfl-varu, Friday. t Shunee-vartt, Saturday. 

D 2 


tee.* Her wan with the giants also add to her fame, and make her extremely popular amoo;^ 
the Hindoos: she is adopted by many, who take the n^jae of shaktU8,f as their guardian deity. 
In Beno'al, the greater number of brambiins are shaktQs. In the western and southern pro- 
vinces this sect is less numerous. 

16. Kalee, the Indian Diana Taurica. Though this b another form of Doorga^ her fame is 
so great, that it seems necessary to devote a few lines exclusively to her. The dark image of 
this goddess is a truly horrid figure: her air is disheveled; her tongue hangs out; she holds in 
one hand a scimitar, in another a giant's scull; with another, she forbids fear, and with the 
last is bestowing a blessing. Her colour is that by which time is designated, and she stands 
upon her husband, the destroyer, to keep him in subjection till the time of the universal con- 
flagration, when, with the eye in the centre of his forehead, he will bum the universe. Her 
four arms represent the four v^das, the two inspiring terror point out those portions of the 
v^du which relate to the destruction of enemies and the government of the world, and^he other 
t\fO allude to those parts of the v6du which belong to devotion. Her disheveled hair re- 
presents the clouds, and intimates too that time has neither beginning nor end. Her tongue i» 
the representative of lightning. She exhibits altogether the appearance of a drunken fran- 
tic fury. Yet this is the goddess whom thousands adore, on whose altars thousands of vic- 
tims annually bleed, and whose temple at Kalee-ghata, near Calcutta, is the resort of Hindoos 
from all parts of India. This temple, it is said, frequently receives presents from persons of 
the highest rank, and not unfrequently from persons called christians. There are two things 
respecting Kalee which remind us ofLavema: she is the protectress of thieves, and her image 
at Kaleeghatu is a head without a body. Another form of this goddess, under the name 
of Siddh^shwiiree, is to be seen in clay temples all over Bengal. Human victims, it is said, 
have often been immolated on the altars of Kalee and Siddh6shw6ree. 

17. LUkshmee, Uie goddess of Fortune, is the wife of Vishnoo; she is said to have been pro- 
duced at the churning of the sea, as Venus was said to be born of the froth of the sea. At 
her birth, all the gods were enamoured of her. She is painted yellow, with a water-lily in her 
right hand ; in which form she is worshipped frequently by Hindoo women ; but no bloody 
sacrifices are offered to her. The Hindoos avoid all payments of money on the Thursday 
(Lukshmee-varii) from the fear of offending this goddess. 

* Literally, the chief; or Datiire» f ShaktQ means enerf^y. 


18. SUritiwUiie, the goddess of learning, another wife of Vishnoo. She is painted white, 
and stands on the water-lily. In some images she is seen holding a lute; and in others as pos- 
sessed of three eyes, with a fan in one hand and a book in the other. Her colour b to point 
out, that she is the source of wbdom ; the lute reminds the worshipper that she is the author 
of melody; her three eyes represent the three v^dfis ; the book and pen obviously belong to 
her character as the goddess of learning. I find no goddess in the Roman or Grecian pantheon 
who resembles her. She has an annual festival, when clay images are set up, and worshipped 
all over Bengal. Some of her worshippers, on the last day of the festival, dance naked before 
the procession of the image through the streets. Even prostitutes, at this festival, make an 
image of this goddess, and set it up near their houses, to draw the spectators to their brothels. 
On tins day, students, merchants, and others, refuse to touch a pen; for the Hindoos ascribe 
their ability to read, write, and even to speak, to the fevour of Snriiswntee. 

19. SheetUia, the goddess who cools the body when afflicted with the small pox, receives 
many honours from the lower orders of Hindoos, among whom the ravages of the small pox 
are often dreadful. This goddess is also worshipped to procure the removal of cutaneous dis- 

20. M&niUa, the queen of the snakes, or she who protects men from their fatal bite. The 
lower orders crowd to the three annual festivals held in honour of this goddess. 

21. ShUshVhee, the goddess of fecundity. She is honoured with six annual festivals, celebrat- 
ed chiefly by females. Her image is that of a yellow woman, sitting on a cat, and nursing a 
child ; though, in general, a rough stone, painted on the top, and placed under a tree, is the 
object worshipped. 

These may be considered as the celestial deities worshipped by the Hindoos. The ter- 
restrial goddesses are, Seeta, the wife of Ramn ;* Radha, the mistress of Krishnii ; Rookminee 
and S&tyubhama, the wives of Krishnu, and Soobhndra, the sister of Jugiinnaf Lu.f The ter- 
restrial gods are the following : — 

* This goddess, it is said, was daic oat of the frroaod by king J&n&ltft, when he was plooghing his field. A 
boj who was plooi;hed up out of the ground among the Tuscans, gave rise to the order of RomiiD priests, whose 
business it was to divine from appearances, in the annnal sacrifice. 

f It does not appear that Ji^gttnnat'htt was eter married* 


]» KrishnU resembles Apollo in his licentious intrigues; in his being a herdsman/ and ao 
archer; in his destroying a dreadful serpent; in his love of music, and in the celebrity to 
which he attained. Krishnii's image is that of a black man, >vith a Ante in his hand. His 
colour points out, that he fills the mind with sensual desires, and the flute designates him as 
the author of musical sounds. Apollo had in one hand a harp, and in the other a shield of 
arrows. The history of Krishnii is chiefly found in the Shree-Bliagdvatii ; the outlines of 

which will be seen in page 153, &c. of this volume. Several festivals in honour of this god 
are held annually, at which times the greatest licentiousness prevails among all ranks. A 
great proportion of the Hindoo population in Bengal are devoted to Kri8hnu.t His in- 

trigues with the milk-maids, and especially with Radha, his fdvourite mistress, are familiar to 
every Hindoo, being incorporated into their popular songs, and the image of Radha being 
placed by that of Krishna in many of the temples. Under several other names Krishna is 
worshipped, to which forms Separate temples have been erected ; among the rest to Gopala, 
the herdsman ; to Vald-gopala, the infant Gopala ; to Gopee-nafhd, the lord of the milk-- 
maids. Krishna is one of the ten incarnations of Vishnoo. The Rev. Mi:. Maurice calls him 

' the amiable Krbhuu !' 

2. jAg^nnat%U, another deified hero, complimented with the title of lord of the world, a form 
of Visbnoo. He is honoured with several annual festivals, but the car festival is the most po- 
pular: imitations of his ponderous car abound in many of the large towns in Bengal :l that 
in Orissa, connected with the ancient temple erected in honour of this god, has crushed to 

 The pooranfis contain a story of (his god much resembling that of Mercury's stealing a cow from Apollo. 
In the Hindoo fable, Brfimha is the thief. 

-f Sometimes Hindoos are seen licking op the very dust of the place where the crowd are celebrating the 
praises of Krishnti ; and others arc said to faint with joy on these occasions. In memory of Krishnii's lewd con- 
duct with the milk-maids in the forest of VriDdav&nfi, persons of property sometimes spend a day in the fields, 
and entertain their friends. 

t KrishnC-vfisoo gave to the temple of JSgSnnat'hS near ?eramiM»re, an immense car, which could not cost 
less than four or five thousand roopees. He also added an allowance of six roopees a day for the expences of the 
worship of this idol. Gonrft-mfillikfl, a goldsmith of Calcutta, who gave the interest of his mother's weight in 
gold to different temples, added six roopees more to the daily offerings at this temple; but these two benefactors, 
perceiving that the bramh&ns of the temple, instead of expending these sums in offerings to the god, and in alms 
to strangers, applied the greater part to their private use, reduced the six roopees to one roopee four anas a day. 
To extort more money from the donors, the bramhttns of this temple, at two succeeding festivals, prevented the 
car from proceeding to an adjoining temple in which the donors were interested, pretending that the god was 
angrj- with them for their parsimony, and would not go. 


death hundreds of victims, perhaps thousands, and immolates a number every year. This 
god receives the homage of pilgrims from all parts of India, for whose accommodation roads 
have been cut, and lodging-houses erected. Such, however, is the great mortality among the 
pilgrims, that a Hindoo of property always makes his will before he sets out on this journey, 
and takes a most affecting iarewel of hi^ disconsolate relations. Southey's description,* in 
bis curse of Kehama, though not literally correct, conveys to the mind much of the horror 
which a christian spectator of the procession of the car cannot but fceK Mr* Paterson finds 
in the images of this god, and his brother and sister, which are worshipped together, an hiero- 
glyphic of the mystical word Om, (^). 

3. Ramit, a deified monarch, and the hero of the Ramaydnn, comes in for a considerable 
share of the wretched devotion of the Hindoos, especially in the western provinces. His his- 
tory, found in Valmeekee's epic poem, is partly before the public. He is adored as the seventh 
Hindoo incarnation ; has an annual festival, and is daily worshipped in the temples dedicat- 
ed to him, his brother, and his friend Hunoomanu ; in which temples he appears as a green 
man, with a bow and arrows in his hands, sitting on a throne, having Seeta on his left : his bro- 
ther LokshmnnA holds a white umbrella over his head, and Hunoomanu stands before him as 
his servant with joined hands. He is considered as a beneficent deity. Some think that Ramd 
was deified on account of a successful attack on Ceylon, when he was king of Mfit'hoora. 

4. ChcttUnyU, i.e. the wise, a form of Krishnu ; the god of a sect of voiragees, whose lead- 
er was a religious mendicant. His most famous temple in Bengal is at Ugru-dweepu, where 
an annual festival is held, and to which crowds resort from all parts of Bengal - The bramhiius 
despise this sect. 

6. FishwU'MrmUy the son of Brumha, as architect of the gods, may be regarded as the Hin- 

* *' A thousand pilgrims strain, 
Arm, shoulder, breast and thigh, with might and main, 

To drag that sacred wain, 
And scarce can draw along the enormous load. 

Prone fall the frantic votaries in its road, 
And, calling on the god, 

Their self-devoted bodies there they lay 
To pave his chariot way ; 

On Jd^finnafh they call. 
The ponderous car roUs on, and crushes all. 

Through blood and bones it ploughs its dreadful path; 
Groans rise unheard; the dying cry, 

And death and agony 
Aro trodden under foot by yon mad throng. 

Who follow close, and thrust the deadly wheels along." 


doo Vulcan. He is worshipped at an annual festival, the implements of each artificer being 
the representative of the god. He employs no cyclops with one eye, but has a workman 

named Mayfi, a giant, who is capable of exhibiting all manner of illusive edifices. 

6. KamH^d^vU, the Indian cupid. This god is also said to be the son of Brnmha: he is 
painted as a beautiful youth, carrying a bow and arrow of flowers. He has an annual festival, 
but his image b not made ; nor does this festival command much celebrity. Petitions are 
addressed to him by the bride and bridegroom anxious for offspring. 

7. Sutyi^ NarayHnU. I have not discovered the origin of this idol : the name implies that 
he is the true Vishnoo. He is worshipped frequently in the houses of the rich, from the desire 
of insuring prosperity. 


B. PUnchantnik, a form of Shivu, worshipped by the lower orders, who consider him as the 
destroyer of children. The image used as his representative is a misshapen stone, anointed, 
painted, and placed under the vntn and other trees. 

9. DhArmU'VhakoorU, another form of Shivu, held in much the same estimation as Puncba- 

10. Kaloo-ray^, the god of forests, another form of Shivfi. He is painted as sitting on a 
tyger, and carrrying a bow and arrows: is worshipped by the wood cutters in the forests, to 
insure protection from wild beasts. 

11. Deified Beings in Hrange shapes. UrdhU-nareeshwUrU. This compound deity is Shlvii 
and Doorga united in one body. The fable respecting this singular transformation will be 
found in p. 187. Religious worship is paid to this idol. — Krishn^-Kalte. In this image, of 
Krishnd and Kalec united in one body, vice itself is personified and worshipped. See page 189. 
— Hik-ee-HUrM. Another compound deity, Vishnoo and Shivii. The worship paid to these 
idols appears to owe its origin to stories in the pooraniks ; but the original idea, meant to be 

. conveyed by two of them, no doubt, was, that the Great Spirit and matter arc one. 

12. The worship of human beings. The Hindoos worship their spiritual guides : also bram- 


Mm, and their wives and daughters ; and» among the vamachareSs, women of the lowest cast, 
and even prostitutes^ are worshipped with rites too abominable to be record^, $ee p. 193. 

13. The wankip of beasti. The cow, as a form of Bhagiiviktee, is au object of worship, and 
receives the homage of the Hindoos at an annual festival.* (p. 195.) HUnoamanU, the monkejf, 
has also been placed among the gods, as a form of ShivtI. Temples to thb god are to be seen, 
and in some places his image is worshipped daily ; he is even chosen by many as their guardi-^ 
an deity. Hunoomann bears some resemblance to Pan, and like him owes his birth to the god 
of the winds. The dog^ the jackal, and a number of other animals, have also places among 
the Hindoo deities, though they are not greatly honoured. ^ 

1 4. Witrship of hirdi. Gdroorik, the carrier of Vishnoo, half a bird and half a man, has re- 
ceived deification, as well as his brother Uroonu, the charioteer of Vishnoo. Jdtayoo, another 
bird, the friend of Ramft, receives divine honours, as do the eagle of Coromandel, (said to be 
an incarnation of Doorga), the wagtail, the peacock, the goose, and the owl ; but the honours 
they receive are not of the highest kind. 

15. Worship of trees. The Hindoos do not seem ever to have consecrated groves, but seve- 
ral trees they esteem sacred. Toolasel^ a female raised to deity by Vishnoo, was cursed by 
Lakshmee, his wife, in a fit of jealousy, and turned into the tree of thb name, which the Hin- 
doos preserve with great care near their houses, erect pillars to its honour,t esteem its leaves 
and wood sacred, and with the latter make the beads with which they repeat the names of their 
guardian deities. Several other trees receive almost an equal homage, see page 205. It is con- 
sidered as a great sin among the Hindoos for any member of a fiimily to cut down trees plant- 
ed by an ancestor, and the misfortunes of many a family have been ascribed to such an act of 

* The very dung of the cow is eaten as ao atonement for sin, and, with its arioe, Is used In worship. A Hindoo 
does not carry any thing out of his house In the morning till he has rubbed hts door-way with cow-dung. Not- 
withstanding (his reverence, the bullocks employed in carrying burdens and at the plough, are used more cruelly 
by (be Uindoos than any other animals. *' The Athenians and almost all other nations thought it a very great 
crime to kill the ox, insomuch that the offender was thought to deserve death." PoitttU AniiquHia of Greece^ 
oo^iyp. 917. 

t The heads of thew pillars, which commonly open like a cup, are filled with earth, and the plant is placed 
■a them. «^ The Bamam aad GreciaaS| says Potter, consecrated certain trees to their gods.*' 



16. River worship. The Hindoos not only reverence their rivers, butactaaliy worship them^ 
dividing them into male and female deities. But Gonga (the Ganges,) both in their poem», 
their pooranas, and in the superstitious customsof the natives, appears to rank highest among 
the river deities. She is declared to have descended from Vishnoo's heaven, the anniversary 
of which event is celebrated by particular festivities. The most extravagant things are re- 
lated in the pooranus respecting the purifying nature of these waters ; and several works have 
been written to extol the saving properties of the Ganges.* Its waters are carried to im- 

mense distances; every thing they touch becomes purified ; crowds of Hindoos perform their 
.worship on the banks of the river daily, after purifying themselves in its stream ; the sick^re 
laid on its banks expecting recovery from the mere sight of this goddess; and it is reckoned 
a great calamity not to die within view of Gunga. Many other rivers receive the honours of 
divine worship, as will be seen in page 217. 

17. Worship of Fish. Even the finny tribes are honoured by the Hindoos, though the wor- 
ship paid to them is of an inferior nature. 

18. The worship of Books is very common among this people. The lower orders have such 
a profound respect for a book, that they think every thing in such a form must be divine. On 
several occasions a book 19 converted into an image, and worshipped with all the forms used 
before the most popular idol. 

19. Worship of Stones, The shalugramS, as a form of Vishnoo, is more frequently worship- 
ped than any other idol in India,t not excepting the lingd itself, which perhaps ought to be 
placed next, and which is also a stone. The representatives of Pdnchanunn and other gods 
are shapeless stones. Many images of idols sold in the markets are made of stone, and wor- 

• The Gimga-vakya-vlilec, &c. 

f " Theshain^ramQsare black stones, fonnd in h. part of the Gtindftkee river, within the Itmils of Nepal. They 
are mostly round, and are commoDly perforated io one or more placesby worms, or, as the Hindoos believe, by 
Vishnoo in the shape of a reptile. Accordini; to the number of perforations, and of spiral curves in each, the 
stone is supposed to contain Vishnoo in various characten. For example, such a stone pcr'*orated in one place 
only, with fonr spiral corves in the perforation, and with mark^ res*»mblinfr a cow's foot, and a long wreath of 
lowers, contains LSkshmee-Narayftnli. In like manner stones arc found in the NarmSda, which are considered 
as types of Shivft, and are called Van»\-Lin|rR. The sha%ramS is fonnd, upon trial, not to be calcareous : it 
itrikes fire with steel, and scarcely at all effervesces with acids."— •.iffo/tc Besearch^t, vqL vii. p. S40. 


20* A hg of wood. The pedal with.which rice is cleansed from the husk has also been rais- 
ed to godsbip by the Hindoos. See page 224. 

Such are the objects adored by the Hindoos. Such is the deplorable state into Mrhich the 
mind continues tosink after it has once renounced the doctrine of the unity of God. Di- 
vine Worship is confessedly the highest act of reverence and homage of which man is capable. 
How shocking then, how afflicting to a philanthropic mind, to see man prostrated before a beast, 
or, a log of wood. How greatly is the horror increased when this prostration of intellect 

respects inany millions. 

I have repeatedly conversed with learned Hindoos on the use of idols in worship. The 
best account I have ever received may amount to this : God is every where ; this is allowed, 
but his spirituality perplexes the mind. To collect and fix the ideas on the object of adora- 
tion, therefore, an image is chosen, into which image, by the power of incantations, the deity 
is imagined to be drawn. Hence, in dedicating an image, they call upon the god to come and 
dwell in it. I have urged in reply, that if this were the whole end to be answered, any image 
might do,* but that I saw amongst them many sorts of idols. To this the bramhdn says, 

God has made himself known in these forms, and directed these various images to be made, 
that men may be fascinated and drawn to the love of worship ; that none of these images are 
intended to exhibit the natural perfections of God, but his actions when incarnate ; and that 
images are only necessary while men continue in a rude state, and may be laid aside by those 
who can attain to devotion by means of rational speculation. This is the best apology I 

have obtained for the worship of idols. Yet, surely, instead of elevating the mind, and car- 
rying it to a Being so glorious as God, images debase a subject so sublime, and destroy all 
reverence for Him, who is '* glorious in holiness, fearful in praises^ doing wonders.'^ Images 
of God are therefore highly offensive, and their makers and worshippers justly Expose them- 
selves to the cutting reproof of Isaiah : " To whom then will ye liken God 1 or what likeness 
*' will ye compare to him? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as 
"the small dust of the balance : all nations before him are as nothing, and are counted to him 
''less than nothing, and vanity." But that idols are not necessary, even to the rude and ignorant, 
let the experience of every protestant country bear witness. Where shall we find piety more 
elevated, or morals more correct, even among individuals in the lowest orders of society^ than 
in our own land 1 

• They admit Ibis : a pan of water is iadoed often snbslitated for an idol. 

£ 2 


But what shall we say, when many of these idob aie monstrous personifications of vioe^ and 
when it is a fact, that not a single virtuous idea is ever communicated by any of them. The 
image of Kalee exhibits a female with inflamed eyes, standing on the body of her husband, her 
hair disheveled, slavering the blood of her enemies down her bosom, her tongue hanging from 
her mouth, wearing a necklace of skulls, and holding a skull in the left hand, and a sword in 
the right. Another image, that of KrishnA Kalee, eihibits Krishnn and Radha, his mistress, 
united in one body, to conceal Radha's infidelity from her husband. Another image is the lingik ! 
Another that of a monkey, an incarnation of" the great god"Shivn; the offspring of the god 
of the winds by a female monkey!* The image of Doorga is that of a female warrionr ; and one 
form of this goddess is that of a female so athirst for blood, that she is represented as cutti ng off 
her own head, and the severed head, with the mouth distended, is seen devouring the blood 
streaming from the trunk. This goddess stands upon two other deities in an attitude so abo- 
minably indecent that it cannot be described : the common form of Kalee, standing on her hus- 
band, Shivd, has a secret meaning, well known to a Hindoo, but which is so indelicate that 
even they» licentious as they are, dare not make it according to the genuine meaning of the 
fiible to which it belongs.f Some of the formulas used at the festival in honour of this god- 
dess, called the Sbyama-pooja, relate to things which can never become the subject of descrip- 
tion ; but perhaps in this concealed state they are more pernicious than if painted, and exhibit- 
ed to the open gaze of the mob. To this it may be added, that, amidst all the numerous idols 
worshipped by the Hindoos, there is not one to represent any of the Virtuei, In this respect, 
the Hindoo mythology sinks far below the European, for the Greeks and Romans adored Vir- 
tue, Truth, Piety, Chastity, Clemency, Mercy, Justice, Faith, Hope, and Liberty, and conse- 
crated images and temples to these deities. Among the Hindoos, the most innocent part 
of the system, and that which existed in the purest ages, was the worship of the primary ele- 
ments, the adoration of inanimate matter ! 

The manifest effect of idolatry in this country, as held up to thousands of Christian spec- 
tators,i8 an immersion into the grossest moral darkness, and a universal corruption of manners. 
The Hindoo is taught, that the image is really God, and the heaviest judgments are denounc- 
ed against him, if he dare to suspect that the image is nothing more than the elements of which 
it is composed. The T6ntrd-sarn declares, that such an unbeliever will sink into the regions 

* Pan is said to have been the sod of Mercury. 

i Hindoos of the baser sort may be seen whispering to each other before this image, aod dilating on (bat 
which is too filthy for them to atter in an audible voice. 


of tormeiit In th« apprdicnsioiu of the people in general, therefore, the idols are real deities ; 
they occupy the place of God, and receive all the homage, all the fear, all the service, and all 
the honours which HE so justly claims. The government of God is subverted, and all the moral 
effects arising from the knowledge of his perfections, and his claims upon his rational crea- 
tures, are completely lost 

It b a fact too, that the festivals in honour of the gods have the most pernicious effects on 
the minds of the people. During the ceremonies of worship before the image, the spectators 
are very few, and these feel no interest whatever in the mummery going forward ; and were it 
not for those who come to pay a vbit of ceremony to the image, and to bring their offerings, 
the temple would be as little crowded on festival, as on common days ; but as soon as the welU 
known sound of the drum is heard, calling the people to the midnight orgies, the dance and 
the song, whole multitudes assemble, and almost tread one upon another; and their joy keeps 
pace with the plumber of loose women present, and the broad obscenity of the songs. Gopalil- 
T&rkkalunkard, a piindit employed in the Serampore printing-office, and a very respectable 
man among the Hindoos, avowed to a friend of mine, that the only attractives on these occasi« 
ons were the women of ill-fame, and the filthy songs and dances ; that these songs were so abo- 
minable, that a man of character, even amongst them, was ashamed of being present; that if 
ever he (Gopald) remained, he concealed himself in a corner of the temple. He added, that 
a song was scarcely tolerated which did not contain the most marked allusions .to nuchas tity, 
while those which were so abominable that no person could repeat them out of the temple, re- 
ceived the loudest plaudits.* All this is done in the very face of the idol ; nor does the thought, 
*<Thou God seest me,'' ever produce the slighest pause in these midnight revels. In open 
day, and in the most public streets of a large town, I have seen men entirely naked» dancing 
with unblushing effrontery before the idol, as it was carried in triumphant procession, en- 
couraged by the smiles and eager gaze of the bramhnns. Yet, sights even worse than these, 
and such as can never be described by the pen of a christian writer, are exhibited on the rivers 
and in the public roads,'to thousands of spectators, at the Doorga festival,t the most popular 
and most crowded of all the Hindoo festivals in Bengal, and which closes with libations to the 

 Somelimes the Hindoos opeo a sabscription to defray the expense of a grand act of worship in hononr of 
some idol. If 400 roopees be subscribed on such' an occasion, 1 am assured, that dOO will be spent on the songs 
and dancing-girls. 

i The author has more than once been filled with alarm as this idolatrous procession has paaed his house, le«t 
bU children should go lo the windows, and sec the gross obscenity exhibited by the dancers. 

xxxviii inthobuctobt iiSMAfiKs 

gods, so powerful, as to produce general iatoxicatiou. What must be the state of morals ia 
a country, when its religious institutions and public shows, at which the whole population is 
present, thus sanctify vice, and carry the multitude into the very gulph of depravity and 



There is another feature in this system of idolatry, which increases its pernicious effects on 
the public manners : The history of these gods is a highly coloured representation of their 
wars, quarrels, and licentious intrigues ; which are held up in the images, recitations, songs, , 
and dances at the public festivals. At the separate recitations, which are accompanied with 
something of our pantomime, these incredible and most indecent fables are made still more 
familiar to the people, so familiar indeed, that allusions to them are to be perceived in the 
most common forms of speech. Many works of a pernicious tendency in the European 

languages are not very hurtful, because they are too scarce and expensive to be read by the 
poor ; but the authors of the Hindoo mythology have taken care, that the quarrels and revels 
of the gods and goddesses shall beheld up to the imitation of the whole community. 

In some of these histories and pantomimes Shivii is represented as declaring to Lnkshmee, 
that he would part with all 4he merit of his works for the gratification of a criminal passion ; 
Brdmha as burning with lust towards his own daughter; Krishna as living with the wife of an- 
other, murdering a washerman and stealing his clothes, and sending his friend Yoodhist'hiru 
to the regions of torment by causing him to utter a falsehood ; Indiii and Chundrii are seen as 
the paramours of the wives of their spiritual guides. — But these stories are so numerous in the 
pooranas, that it seems unnecessary to drag more of them to light. The thing to be deplor- 
ed is, that the Hindoo objects of worship were themselves monsters of vice. 

Painful as this is, it is not all : there is a numerous and growing sect among the Hindoos in 
Bengal, and perhaps in other provinces, who, in conformity with the rules prescribed in the 
vorks called Tantru, practise the most abominable rites. The proselytes to this sect are 
chiefly bramhnus, and are called vamacharees. I have given some account of them in pages 
193, and 295; and should have declined blotting these pages with any further allusion to 
these unutterable abominations, had I not omitted in those accounts an article which I had 

prepared, and which throws much additional light on the practises of a sect so singularly cor- 


The roles of this sect are to be found more or less in most of the Tfintras, but particularly 
in the Neclii, Roodrfi-yamuiu, Yonee, and Unnuda kfllpfi. In these works the writers have ar- 
ranged a number of Hindoo sects as follows : V^dacharees, Voishnnvacharees, Shoivacharees, 
Dukshinacharees. Vamacharees, Siddhantacharees, and Koulacharees ; each rising in succes- 
sion, till the most perfect sect is the Koulachard. When a Hindoo wishes to enter into this 
sect, he sends for a person who has been already initiated, and who is well acquainted with the 
forms of initiation, and presenting to him garments, ornaments, &c. begs him to become his 
religious guide. The teacher then places this disciple near him for three days, and instructs 
him in the ceremonies of the sect ; at the close of which period, the disciple spreads some loose 
soil on the floor of the house in which the ceremonies of initiation are to be performed, and 
sows a small quantity of barley, and two kinds of pease, in this soil, sprinkling water upon it. 
He next proceeds to perform some parts of the ten ceremonies practised by the regular Hin- 
doos from the time of birth to that of marriage; after which he makes a declaration, that he 
has from that period renounced all the ceremonies of the old religion, and is delivered from 
their yoke ; an(\ as a token of joy celebrates what is called the Vriddhee shraddbd. All these 
ceremonies are to be performed in the day: what follows is to be done in darkness ; and there- 
fore, choosing the darkest part of the night, the seed sown in the house having sprung up, 
the disciple and his spiritual (it would not be too harsh to say infernal) guide enter the house, 
with eight men, vamacharees, and eight females, a dancing-girl, a weaver's daughter, a wo- 
man of ill-feme, a washer-woman, a barber's wife or daughter, a bramhuuee, the daughter of a 
land-owner, and a milk-maid. Each of the vamacharees is to place by his side one of the 

females, and the teacher and his disciple are to sit close to each other. The teacher now in- 
forms his disciple, that from henceforward he is not to indulge shame, nor dislike to any thing, 
Dor prefer one plan to another, nor regard ceremonial cleanness or uncleanness, nor cast; and 
that though he may freely enjoy all the pleasures of sense, the mind must be fixed on his 
guardian deity, that is, he is neither to be an epicure nor an ascetic, but to blend both in his 
character, and to make the pleasures of sense, that is wine and women, the medium of ob- 
taining absorption into Brumha ; since women are the representatives of the wife of Cupid, 
and wine prevents the senses from going astray. A pan of spirits, or of water mixed with 
spirits, is placed near each man and woman, and in the centre another pan of spirits, differ- 
ent kinds of flesh, of which that of the cow makes a part, rice, fruits, &c. and upon each of 
the eight pans different branches of trees, and garlands of red flowers, are placed: the pans 
also are to be marked with red paint; all these aje surrounded with eighty pounds of flour 
formed into diffeseut colours. A pan of intoxicating beverage called siddhee is next con- 

xl inthoductory remarks 

secrated, of which each partakes, after which they chew the panu leaf. Next^ before all the 
things placed in the centre of the room* the spiritual guide rehearses the cooimon ceremonies 
of worship, addressing them to any one of the female 'deities who happens to be the guardian 
deity of this disciple. The vessels from which the company are to drink, and the offerings, are 
next consecrated : these vessels may be formed of earth, copper, brass, silver, gold, or stone, 
the cocoa-nut, or a human skull: but the latter is to be prefered. The spiritual guide then 
gives as much as a wine glass of spirits to each female, as the representative of the divine ener- 
gy, and the men drink what they leave. At this time the spiritual guide declares, that in the 
sutyii yoogu the people were directed in their religious duties by the v6das, in the tr^ta by the 
writings of the learned, in the dwapurn by the different pooranus, and, in the kulee yooga, 
the tuntrus are the only proper guides to duty. As if well pleased with this sentiment, each 
one of the company now drinks two more glasses of the spirits. The disciple next worships 
each male and female separately, applying to them the names of BhoiruvA and Bhoiruvee, ti- 
tles given to Shivu and Doorga, and presents to each of them spirits, raeat-ofi^erings, garments, 
ornaments, &c, ; after which the spiritual guide offers a bumt-sacrifice, with the flesh and 
other meat-offerings, pouring on them, as they burn, clarified butter : the disciple also repeats 
the same ceremony. The eight females now anoint the disciple by sprinkling upon him, with 
the branches which were placed on the pan, spirits and water; and after mixing together the 
whole of the sp irits, or spirits and water, from all the pans, the spiritual guide^ with all the 
branches, again sprinkles the disciple, to whom he declares that he has now, for the good of 
his soul, instructed him, according to the commandment of the great god Shivd, in all the ce- 
remonies belonging to the profession of a vamacharee ; urging him, in practising these cere- 
monies, to keep his mind on Shivu, and that he will be happy after death: at the close, he caus- 
es him to drink the liquor thus mixed, repeating separate incantations. During his initiati- 
on he is not to drink so as to appear intoxicated, or to cause his mind to wander, but having 
habituated himself to a small quantity, he may take more, till he falls down in a state of in- 
toxication ; still however so as to rise again after a short interval, after which he may continue 
drinking the nectar, till he foils down completely overcome, and remains in this state of joy, 
thinking upon his guardian deity. He is now known as an Uvikdhootii, that is, as one who has 
renounced all secular affairs, and receives a new name (perhaps Anundfi-nat'hii) or the joyous. 
He is to drink spirits with all of the same profession ; to sleep constantly in a house of ill-fome, 
and to eat of every thing he pleases, and with all casts indiscriminately. The next thing, is to 
offer a burnt sacrifice ; after which the spiritual guide and the guests are dismissed with pre- 
sents, and the new disciple spends the night with an infomous female. These vamacharees 



adore the sex, and carefiilly avoid offending a woman. They also practise the most debasing 
rites using the heads of persons who have been guilty of suicide, ako when sitting on a dead 
body, and while naked and* in the presence of a naked female. — ^It might seem impossible to 
trace ceremonies gross as these to any principle except that of moral depravity ; but the au- 
thors of this system attempt to reconcile it with the pursuit of future happiness : the reader 
is aware that the regular Hindoo theologians attribute all the vices to the passions, and con- 
sider their subjugation, or annihilation, as essential to final beatitude; they therefore aim at 
the accomplishment of this object by means of severe bodily austerities. The vamachar^ pro- 
fess to seek the same object, not by avoiding temptation, and starving the body, but by blunt- 
ing the edge of the passions with excessive indulgence. They profess to triumph over the 
regular Hindoos, reminding them that their ascetics are safe only in forests, and while keep- 
ing a perpetual fast, but that /Aey subdue their passions in the very presence of temptation. 

Thus, that which to the Hindoo should be divine worship, is the great source of impiety and 
corruption of manners: and, instead of returning from his temple, or from religious services, 
improved in knowledge ; grieved for his moral deficiencies, and anxious to cultivate a greater 
regard to the interests of morality and religion, his passions are inflamed, and his mind polluted 
to such a degree that he carries the pernicibus lessons of the temple, or the festival, into all the 
walks of private life. His very religion becomes his greatest bane, and where he should have 
drank of the water of life, he swallows the poison that infallibly destroys him. 

In conversation with a learned bramhiin, in the year 1813, he acknowledged to the author, 
that, at present, reverence for the gods made no part of the attractions to the public festivals. 
One,man celebrates a festival to preserve himself from disgrace, another to procure the applaus- 
es of his countrymen, and a third for the sake of the songs, dances, &c. This bramhnn in- 
stanced cases of images being itaade without any reference to the rules of the shastru. At one 
place, a Hindoo, having prepared an image, at an expense which be could not meet, permitted 
it to be broken, and its head, arms, and legs, to be trodden upon in the streets : — another, who 
had been thus disappointed, threw the image into the water; and a third, having made an enor- 
mous image, bad fastened it to a cart, but on the first motion of the vehicle, the head of the 
idol had fallen off, and the rest of the image was permitted to lie in the street as a dead car- 
case. I give these instances, to confirm what I have already said, that it is not devotion that 
leads the Hindoo to the temple, but a licentious appetite; and to afford another proof, that 



idolatry always tends to sink, but never to raise its votaries. In tbe account of Kaiee (p. 12f) 
the reader will find a fact respecting the execution of two Hindoos, who, when under sentence 
of death, became Roman-catholics, in pure revenge upon Kalee, who did not, as she was beiiev- 
ed to have done in many other cases, protect them in the act of robbery. One of the pdndits 
who assisted me in this work, begged, if I mentioned this fact, that I would assure the English 
reader, that although this goddess assisted public robbers, she always informed them that they 
must suffer hereafter for their crimes, though she did assist them in their perpetration. 

The Reverend Mr. Maurice seems astonished that a people so mild, so benevolent, so benig- 
nant as the Hindoo?, * who fquoting Mr. Orme) shudder at the very sight of blood; should have 
adopted so many bloody rites. But are these Hindoos indeed so humane? — ^these men, and 
women too, who drag their dying relations to the banks of the river at ail seasons, day and 
night, and expose them to the heat and cold in the last agonies of death, without remorse; — 
who assist men to commit self-murder, encouraging them to swing with hooks in their backs, to 
pierce their tongues and sides, to cast themselves on naked knives, to bury themselves alive,* 
throw themselves into rivers,t from precipices,^ and under the cars of their idols; — who mur- 
der their own children, by burying them alive, throwing them to the alligators, or hanging them 
up alive in trees for the ants and crows before their own doors,§ or by sacrificing them to the Gan- 

* Instances are not anfrequent, where persons afflicted with loathsome and iacacable diseases, have caused 
themselves to be buried alive."— —^jta/ic Raearehesy vol. vii. p. ^7. 

+ Mr. W. Carey, of Cutwa, in a letter to the author, dated the 4th November, 1814, says, "Two or three 
days ago I witnessed a scene more shocking than any 1 ever saw in this place : A poor weaver was brought here, 
and cast into the river, with a pan of water tied round his waist to make him sink; but providentially the river 
was shallow, and he was taken out, after being in the water a day and a night. Hearing of the circumstance, I 
went to see him, and found the poor man only affected with rheumatic pains. I had him brought to my house, 
bu^ could not prevail on the unfeeling natives to carry him up till I procured an order from an officer of the po- 
lice. I hope he will be restored to health in a fortnight, when he will return home, with some knowledge of the 
gospel. What adds to the horror of this narration, is, that the perpetrators of this intended murder were the mo- 
ther and brother of this unfortunate Hindoo." 

X *^ A very singular practice prevails among tbe lowest tribes of the inhabitants of Berar and Gondwfinix. 
Suicide is not unfrequently vowed by such persons in return for boons solicited from idols, and to fulfil his vow, 
the successful votary throws himself from a precipice named Kaltt-Bhoir&vfi, situated in the mountains between 
the Taptee and N&rmQda rivers. The annual fair held near that spot at the beginning of spring, usually wit- 
nesses eight or ten victims of this superstition.**— —>##tafie Researchei vol. vii. p. 257. 

S I fancy this is done when the child is born with bad omens, or is supposed to b& afflicted by some evil 

ON THE HINDOO BEtl6lON. xliil 

ges ;— who burn alive, amidst savage shouts, the heart-broken widow, by the hands of her own 
SOD, and with the corpse of a deceased father;'— who every year butcher thousands of animals, 
at the call of superstition, covering themselves with their blood, consigning their carcases to 
the dogs, and carrying their heads in triumph through the streets?— Are these the 'benignant 
Hindoos ! '—a people who have never erected a charity-school, an alms'-house, nor an hospital ; 
who suffer their fellow creatures to perish for want before their very doors, refusing to adminis- 
ter to their wants while living, or to inter their bodies, to prevent their being devoured by vultures 
and jackals, when dead ; — who, when the power of the sword was in their hands, impaled alive, 
cut off the noses, the legs, and arms, of culprits; and inflicted punishments exceeded only by 
those of the followers of the mild, amiable, and benevolent Booddha in the Burman empire !t 

• At Benares and near Bnzar oumeroiis brick monuments have been erected to perpetuate the memorjr of 
women who have been burnt aKve with the bodies of their deceased husbands. 

+ It is well known, that the Burmans are the followers of Booddh&, whose principal aim was to excite in man- 
kind a horror of shedding blood, and of destroying animal life. The following facts will show how much huma- 
nity there is among a people far exceeding the Hindoos in their care not to injure whatever contains life. Mr. 
F. Carey thus writes to his friends in Bengal : <' I will now relate what has taken place in this single town of 
Rangoon since my residence in tliis country ; which does not exceed four years. Some of the criminals I saw 
executed with my own eyes; the rest I saw immediately after execution. One man had melted lead poured 

down bis throat, which immediately burst out from the neck, and various parts of the body. Four or five per- 
sons, after being nailed through their hands and feet to a scaffold, had first their tongues cut out, then their mouths 
slit open from ear to ear, then their ears cut off, and finally their bellies ripped open. Six people were cru- 

cified in the following manner : their hands and feet were nailed to a scaffold ; their eyes were then extracted 
with a blunt hook ; and in this condition they were left to expire ; two died in the course of four days ; the rest 
were liberated, but died of mortification on the sixth or seventh day. Four persons were crucified, viz. 

not nailed bat tied with their bands and feet stretched out at full length, tn an erect posture, in which they were 
to remain till death ; every thing they wished to eat was ordered them, with a view io prolong their lives and mi- 
sery. In cases like this, the legs and feet of the criminals begin to swell and mortify at the expiration of three 
or four days ; some are said to live in this state for a fortnight, and expire at last from fatigue and mortification. 
Those which I saw were liberated at the end of three or four days. Another man had a large bamboo rnn 

through his belly, which put an immediate end to his existence. Two persons had their bellies ripped up, just 
sufficient to admit of the protrusion of a small part of the intestines, and after being secured by the hands and 
feet at full stretch with cords, were placed in an erect posture upon bamboo rafters, and set adrift io the river, to 
float up and down with the tide for public view. The number of those who have been beheaded I do not ex- 
actly recollect ; but they mnit be somewhere between twenty and thirty. One man was sawn to death, by ap- 
plying the saw to the shoulder bone, and sawing right down until the bowels gushed out. One woman was beat 
to death with a large cudgel. — ^These are most of the punishments I have seen and heard of durihg my stay in 
this place, but many other instances happened daring my absence, which I have not related. As for the crimes 
for which these punishments were inflicted, I shall only add, the crimes of some deserved death ; some were of » 
trivial nature, and some of the victims were quite innocent." 

F 2 


and who very often, in their acts of pillage, murder the plundered, cutting oflf their limhs with 
the most coldblooded apathy, turning the house of the murdered into a disgusting shambles ! — 
Some of these cruelties, no doubt, arise out of the religion of the Hindoos, and are the poison* 
cd fruits of superstition, rather than the effects of natural disposition: but this is equally true 
respecting the virtues which have been so lavishly bestowed on this people. At the call of 
the shastra, the Hindoo gives water to the weary traveller during the month Vobhakha, but 
he toay perish at his door without pity or relief from the first of the following month, no re- 
ward being attached to such an act after these thirty days have expired. He will make roads, 
pools of water, and build lodging-houses, for pilgrims, and travellers, but he considers himself 
as making a good bargain with the gods in all these transactions. - It is a fact, that there is 
not a road in the country made by Hindoos except a few which lead to holy places, aiyd had 
there been no future rewards held out for such acts of merit, even these would not have ex- 
isted. Before the kulee-ybogn it was lawful to sacrifice cows, but the man who does it now, 
is guilty of a crime as heinous as that 4)f killing a bramhun: he may kill a bufialoe, however, 
and Doorga will reward him with heaven for it. A Hindoo, by any direct act, should not 
destroy an insect, for he is taught that God inhabits even a fly, but it is no great crime if he 
should permit even his cow to perish with hunger; and he be9ts it without mercy, though it 
be an incarnation of Bhugnvutee — it is enough, that he does not really deprive it of life, for 
the indwelling Bramhii feels no stroke but that of death. The Hindoo will utter false- 

hoods that would knock down an ox, and will commit perjuries so atrocious and disgusting, 
as to fill with horror those who visit the courts of justice ; but he will not violate his shastrn 
by swearing on tlie waters of the Ganges. 

Idolatry is often also the exciting cause of the most abominable firauds : Several instances 
are given in this volume: one will be found in p. 97, and another respecting an image found 
under ground by the raja of Nddeeya, in p. 160.* 

Indeed keeping gods is even a trade among the Hindoos : the only difficulty to be overcome, 
is that of exciting attention tp the image. To do this, the owner of the image frequently goes 
from village to village, to call the attention of the neighbourhood ; he also persuades some one 
to proclaim, that he has been warned in a dream to perform vows to this image, or, he repeats to 

 Plutarch says, that Romnlos, when he instituted the Ludi Consnaltt, to surprise the Sabine virgins, gave 

out, that be had discovered the altar of the god Consus hid under ground, wbich discovery attracted great moltl- 
tudes to the sacrifice. 


all he sees, .that such and such cures have been performed by it. In the years 1807 and 1808, 
almost all the sick and imaginary sick Hindoos in the south of Bengal presented their oflPerings 
to an image called Tarak-^shwurd, at a place bearing this name. The bramhans owning this 
image became rich. This excited the attention of some bramhons near Nndeeya, who pro- 
claimed another image of Shiva, in their possession, to be ^the brother of Taritk-^shwurfi,' and 
the people of those parts flocked to this image as others had dpne to the original one. 


The author has devoted 224 pages of this work to the gods. The next article relates 

to the Hindoo temples, none of which appear to be distinguished for the elegance of their ar- 
chitecture; they are not the work of a people sunk in barbarism ; neither will they bear any 
comparison with the temples of the Greeks or Romans.* They are not constructed so as to 
hold a crowd of worshippers, who are always accommodated in an area opposite the temple. 
The room in which the idol is placed is considered sufficiently spacious if it hold the officiating 
priest, the utensils for worship, and the offerings. 

These temples answer none of the ends of a lecture room, nor of a Christian temple. Here 
the passions are never raised to heaven by sacred music, nor by the voices of a large and de- 
vout congregation celebrating the praises ofthe Deity in the strains of sacred poetry; here no 
devout feelings are awakened by the voice of prayer and confession, nor are the great truths 
of religion explained, or enforced upon the mind of an attentive crowd by the eloquence of 
a public speaker: the daily worship at the temple is performed by the solitary priest with all 
the dulness, carelessness, and insipidity necessarily connected with a service always the same^ 
repeated before an idol made of a cold stone, and in which the priest has no mterest whatever : 
when the crowd do assemble before the temple, it is to enter upon orgies which destroy every 
vestige of moral feeling, and excite to every outrage upon virtue. 

The dedication of a temple is a work of great ceremony,fif the building belong to a man 

• We learn from the Ain Akbftree, however, that the entire revenues of Orissa, for twelve years, were ex- 
pended on erecting a temple to the sun. — Maurice's Indtan AntifuUiu. 

+ Circumambulating a temple is an act of merit, raising the person to a place in the heaven ofthe god or god- 
dess whose temple he thus walks round. At Benares the devout do it daily. If the circumambulator be a 
learned man, he repeats the praise of the god as he is walking, and bows to the image every time he arrive fat 
the door of the temple. The ignorant merely walk round, and make the bow. The right band is always kept 
towards the object circumambulated. 


of wealth ; the expeuce incurred in presents to the bramhans and others is also very great. 
The person who employs his wealth in this manner is considerably raised in the estimation of 
his countrymen : he frequently also endows the temple^ as well as raises it, which is generally 
done by grants of laud. The annual produce of the land thus bestowed, b expended in wages 
to the officiating priest, in the daily offerings to the idol, and in lighting and repairbg the 
temple. Many temples, however, do not depend entirely on their endowments : they receive 
considerable sums from occasional offerings, and from what is presented at festivals.* Some 
temples are supported at an expence so trifling as to astonish a reader not acquainted with the 
forms of idolatry: many individuals who officiate at temples obtaiironly the offerings^ the va- 
lue of which does not amount, in many instances, to more than twenty shillings a year. Some 
few temples are, however, splendidly endowed, and many families receive their maintenance 
from them. Where an idol has become very famous, and the offerings have amounted to a 
large sum, even kings have been anxious to lay hold of such a source of revenue. 

The images of the gods may be made of almost all the metals, as well as of wood, stone, 
clay, &c. Most of the permanent images are made of wood or stone ; those which are destroy- 
ed at the close of a festival, are made of clay. Small images of brass, silver, and gold, are not 
uncommon. The sculpture of the stone images resembles that of the Popish images of the 12tli 
century ; those cast in brass, <^c. exhibit a similar progress of the arts. The consecration of 
an image is accompanied with a number of ceremonies, the most singular of which is that of 
conveying sight and life to the image, for which there are appropriate formulas, with prayers^ 
inviting the deity to come and dwell in it. After this ceremony, the image becomes sacred, 

and is carefully guarded from every offensive approach. The shastrus contain directions 

for making idols, and the forms of meditation used in worship contain a description of each 
idol: but in many instances these forms are disregarded, and the proprietor, though compell- 
ed to preserve the identity of the image, indulges his own fancy. Some images are very dimi- 
nutive, especially those made of the precious metals, but others, if for temporary use, are very 
large : a stone image of the lingii is to be seen at Benares, which six men with joined hands 
can hardly grasp. At the festival of Kartik6yn, the god of war, an image is sometimes made 
thirty cubits high. Whatever may have been the case in other countries, idolatry in this 
has certainly not contributed to carry the arts of painting or sculpture to any perfection. 

• In the year 1809, at the temple of J&gfiaoaf hn, near Serampore, at (he car festival, about 570roopees were 
presented to the idol, in vegetables, fruits, sweetmeats, ^rments, and money. Abont 150 brambttns, 50 females, 

aQd 150 sho^drtts, were entertained daily ; and, at the close of the festival, the priests of the temple received 420 


Any bramhun, properly qualified by rank and knowledge, may officiate in a temple, and 
perform the general work of a priest. There is no order of bramhuns to whom the priesthood 
is confined ;* many bramhnns employ others as priests ; a shoodrii must employ a bramhun^ 
but he has his own choice of the individaal ; he cannot repeat a single formula of the v6dus 
himself without being guilty of the highest offence. There are different offices in which priests 
arc employed, bat any bramhun, properly qualified, may perform the ceremonies attached to 
them all, p. 237. In general, a family, able to bear the expence, employs a priest on a regular 
allowance: some priests are retained by many families of the same cast: such a person is call- 
ed the joiners' priest, or the weavers' priest, &c. The bramhuns employed as priests to the 
shoodrus are not in high estimation among their brethren, who never fail to degrade the shoo- 
drn in every stage and state of life. The fees of the priest are in general very small: on some 
occassions, at the dedication of a temple, at the ceremonies for the dead when performed 
for a rich man, at the great festivals, &c. the priest receives very liberal presents. Female 

priests are almost unknown to the Hindoos : one or two instances are recorded in p. 182, 184* 

The ceremonies at the temples are in most cases performed daily, morning, noon, and even* 
ing, at which times food is presented to the idol : the services are short, consisting of a few 
forms of petition- and praise, during the presentation of flowers, leaves, and (except to Shivu,) 
a few articles of food : the priest is commonly the only person present. The doors of the lin- 
go temples are generally open all day; multitudes of these temples are never honoured with 
worship, though they contain an idol : this is accounted for by there being several of these tem- 
ples erected in one spot belonging to the same individual. Hindoos in general bow to the 
image as they pass the temple, whether the doors be open or shut. Where the deity is honour- 
ed by bloody sacrifices, a post is erected in front of the temple, for the slaughter of animals. 
No assemblies can be formed in these edifices ; but on particular occasions the people are 
collected before the door, and sit or stand under an awning. The idols in honour of Vishnoo 
are laid down to sleep in the day, if the image be not too large, — a poor compliment to a god, 
that he wants rest. The utensils employed in the ceremonies at the temples s^re, several dish- 
es to hold the offerings, a hand bell, a lamp, jugs for holding water, an incense dish, a copper 

 I iDscrt a short extract from Bryce's «« Sketch of the state of British India," io order to assure the author, 
that, as it respects Bengal, it is wholly u ithoat foundation. " The laws have always confined a certain pro por- 
tion of bramhfins, to the service of the pagodas, to the education of youth, and to study." p. 57. " No pains 
are spared in rendering accomplished those females, who, as the fiiscinaliDg instruments of supentiUon, arc cm. 
ployed in the service of their temples." p. 54. 


cup to receive drink-ofFeriogs for deceased ancestors and the gods, another smaller one to ponr 
from, a seat of kooshii grass for the priest, a lai^e metal plate used as a bell, and a conch or 
shell. All these articles do not cost more than twenty shillings, unless the owner wish them 
to be costly. 

Daily, weekly, monthly, and annual ceremonies abound among this people, to whom may tru- 
ly be applied the remark of Paul to the Athenians (Acts xvii. 22) ; the festivals are noted in 
the Hindoo almanacks, and are generally held at the full or total wane of the moon. In the 
month of February, they have one festival in honour of the goddess of learning, Snruswutee, 
which continues one day. In March, three, in honour of Shivii, Krishnu, and Ganga. In 
April, two, one the anniversary of the birth of Rama, and the other the horrid swinging festi- 
val. In June, two, one in honour of Gnnga, and the other Jugunnat'hu's car festival ; the lat- 
ter is again revived in July, when the car returns to the temple. In August, the cow is worship- 
ped, and the birth of Krishna celebrated. In September, the memory of deceased ancestors is 
commemorated, and the Doorga festival held. In October, one, in honour of the goddess Rii- 
tiintee, and in November another in honour of Kartik6ya, the god of war. On all these occa- 
sions the public offices are closed ; but many other holidays are kept by the Hindoos, which 
are not honoured as public festivals. 

The reader will find, in page 244, an account of the daily duties of a bramhan, by which it 
appears, that if he strictly conform to the ndes of his religion, he must spend almost his whole 
time in religious ceremonies. The present race of bramhuns, curtail these ceremonies, espe- 
cially those engaged in secular affairs, who spend perhaps ten or twenty minutes in the morn- 
ing, after their ablutions, in repeating the usual formulas before the lingu, or the stone called 
the shalngrama, or a pan of water. Many, however, content themselves with bathing, and 
repeating the name of their guardian deity. 

The form of initiation into the service of a person's guardian deity consists in giving him 
the name of this deity, and exhorting him to repeat it continually. The ceremony of initia- 
tion is given in p. 253. From this time, the initiated becomes intitled to all the privileges of 
the Hindoo religion, is placed under the protection of the gods, and receives the benediction 
of his spiritual guide. The Hindoos are careful to conceal the words of initiation, and do 
not wish to declare to strangers what god they have chosen for their guardian deity. 



The spiritual guide, who is chosen by the person himself^ receives the highest reverence from 
the disciple, and is sometimes worshipped by him as a god. Disobedience to this guide is one 
of the highest offences a Hindoo can commit, and his anger is dreaded more than that of the 
gods* When the disciple approaches him, he prostrates himself at his feet, and the priest 

places his foot on his head. To such a state of degradation does the Hindoo superstition 

reduce the people ! These priests are notorious for covetousness and impurity : some of them 
. plunder the disciples of their all, and others violate the chastity of their wives. They are not 

distinguished by any particular dress, nor do they perform any offices of worship for their dis- 

Bathing in the Ganges, or in some other sacred river, or pool, is one of the most constant 
and necessary duties enjoined upon the Hindoos ; the brarahnns^ after bathing, frequently com- 
plete their devotions on the banks of the river : others go home, and repeat the requisite forms 
before the shalagramii, or a pan of water. The people are taught that bathing is a religious 
ceremony, by which they become purified from sin !* They are nev6r directed to bathe to pro- 
mote bodily health. In the act of bathing, they pour out drink-offermgs to deceased ancestors. 
— To be convinced bow entirely the present race of Hindoos are influenced by the promises 
of salvation held out in their sacred books on this subject, it is only necessary for a person to 
attend to what is passing around him, viz. to the crowds bathing at landing-places of the Gan- 
ges; to the persons bearing the sacred water into distant countries, in vessels suspended from 
their shoulders; to the shraddhds and other religious ceremonies performed on its banks; to 
the numbers of temples on both sides of the river ; to so great a part of the Bengal population 
having erected their habitations near the river; to the number of brick landing-places, built 
as acts of holiness, to assist the people in obtaining the favours of Gnnga; to the houses erect- 
ed for the sick by the sides of the river: to' the people bringing their sick relations, and lay- 
ing them on bedsteads, or on the ground, by the side of the Ganges, waiting to bum them 

* And yet so far are the Hi odoos from hav'mi^any moral feelings even in their acts of purf/tca/ion, that few men 
bathe in a retired sitoation : the majority choose those places to mrhich ihe female bathers resort, and on their ac- 
count remain in the water long beyond the time necessary for their ablutions. Many an infamoas assignment is 
made by looks, &c. while they are thus washing away their sins. A number of bramhans engage as cooks to 
opulent families, to facilitate licentious intrigups: this Is become so common, that the bramh&ns, proverbially 
known by the name of rooking bramhfins, are treated with the greatest suspicion by those who care for the chas- 
tity of their wives. MuHiiudca ofbramh&ns likewise are employed at priesU to prostitutes, and actually perform 
the offices of religion in bouses of ill-fame;— -so completely absent is the moral principle from the religion of 
the Hindoos. 



there, and to throw their ashes into the rjvcr; to the immense crowds on the banks, waiting 
for a juncUon of the planets, at which moment they plunge into the stream with the greatest 
eagerness ; to the people committbg the images of their gods to the sacred stream, at the close 
of their festivals; and, finally, to the boats crowded with passengers going to Sagur island 
(Gungasagiirn) every year.* 

The forms of worship (pooja)t before the idol arc particularly laid down in p. 272. The 

• TiU lateFy, people D.sed to throw themselves, or their children, to the aUif^tors, at this place, under the idea 
that dying at Gunja-sagurii, in the jaws of an alligator, was Uie happiest of deaths. This is now prevented by a 

guard of (-epoyssent by government. 

+ Tlic Ain Akb&rcc says, the Hindoos " divide pooja into sixteen ceremonies. After the devotee has per- 
formed his asual and indispensable ablutions, with the sSndbya and homu, he sits down, looking towards the 
east or the north, with his legs drawn np in front. Then, taking in his hand a little water and rice, he sprinkles 
the idol, and conceives this act to be a proper preface to the commencement of his adoration. Next follows 
the worship of the idul's flaggon. Then succeeds the worship of the conch-shell. Last in order, a ceremony 
which consists in plastering the bell with ashes of sandal-wood. When he has finished, he throws down a little 
rice, and wishes that his god may be manifested. These various duties are all comprized in the first of the six- 
teen ceremonies. In the second, he prepares and places a table of metal, eithergold, jilver, or copper, as a 

seat or throne for adeity. In the third, he throws water into a vessel to wash his feet$ for, in Hindoost*hanl& it 
is the custom, that, when a superior enters the house of an inferior, be washes his feet. In the fourth, he 

sprinkles water thrice, to represent the idol rincing his mouth, since it is also the custom for an inferior to bring 
to a superior water to rince his mouth with before meals. In the fifth, sandal, flowers, betel, and rice, are of- 
fered to the idol. In the sixth, the idol and his throne are carried toanothec spot : then the worshipper takes in 
his right hand a white conch-shell full of water, which he throws over the idol, and with his left hand rings the 
bell. In the seventh, he wipes the idol dry with a cloth, replaces it upon its throne, and adorns it with vest- 
ments of silk or gold stuff. In the eighth, he puts (he zennar upon the idol. In (he ninth, he makes the tiliik 
upon the idol in twelve places. In the tenth, he throws over the idol flowers or green leaves. In the ele- 
venth, he fumigates it with perfumes. In the twelf{h, he lights a lamp with ghee. In the thirteenth, be places 
before the idol trays of food, according to his ability, which are distributed amongst the by-standers, as the ho- 
ly relics of the idoPs banquet. In the fourteenth, he stretches himself at full length with his face towards the 
ground, and disposes bis body in such a manner, as that his eight members touch the ground, namely, the two 
knees, two hands, forehead, nose, and cheeks. These kinds of prostration are also performed to great men in 
nindoost^baoa. In the fifteenth, he makes a circuit around the idol several times. In the sixteenth, he stands 
in (he posture of a slave, with bis hands uplifted, aud asks permission to depart.'*— —At some of the great fes- 
tiv{ils, boys in play make an image, paint it, and beg from house to house for the offerings, as rice, fruiti, &c. 
When all things are ready, some one becomes the priest, and performs the ceremonies. Thus early are the 

Hindoo children initiated into their idolatrous rites. If, however, the parents of these children discover what 
is going on, they forbid it, and warn thechildreo, that the god will be displeased. If it be au image pf Kalce, 
or any ferocious deity, (hey endeavour to terrify the children, by telling them that the goddess is a fury, and 
wih certainly devour (hem. If any elderly boy be concerned, and (he image made be a good one, the parents 
will sometimes, rather than destroy it, calf a bramhi&ni and bare the ceremonies performed in a regular way. 



priest who officiates has the common dress of a bramhfln ; it must, however, be new: he has 
 occasionally one or two bramhans to assist him in presenting the offerings. 


Short forms of praise and prayer to the gods/ are continually used, and are supposed to pro- 
mote very highly a person's spiritual interests. The following is an example of praise ad- 
dressed to Giinga: " O goddess, the owl that lodges in the hollow of a tree on thy banks, is 
exalted beyond measure, while the emperor, whose palace is far from thee, though he may pos- 
sess a million of stately elephants, and may have the wives bf a million of conquered enemies 
to serve him, is nothing." Example of prayer: <'0 god ! I am the greatest sinner in the world ; 
but thou, among the gods, art the greatest saviour ; I leave my cause in thy hands/' Praise 
is considered as more prevalent with the gods than prayer, as the gods are mightily pleased 
with flattery. Some unite vows to their supplications, and promise to present to the god a 
handsome offering if he be propitious. 

Another act of Hindoo devotion is meditation on the form of an idol. Mr. Hastings, in his 
prefiitory letter to the Geeta, says the Rev. Mr. Maurice, describes the bramhnns as devoting 
a certain period of time to the contemplation of the deity, his attributes, and the moral duties 
of life. The truth is, that in this Hindoo act of devotion there is not a vestige of reference 
to the divine attributes nor to moral duty. The Hindoo rehearses in his mind the form of the 
god, his colour, the number of his heads, eyes, hands, &c. and nothing more. 

Repeating the names of the gods, particularly of a person's guardian deity, is one of the most 

* Instead of bymos in honoor of (be gods, the Hindoos, at present, as has been already noUced, introduce be- 
fore the idol little beside filthy songs. Some bramh&ns aeknowledge, that not a single Hindoo seeks in his 
religion any Uiing of a moral nature. A real christian, vhen he approaches God, prays, *' Create in me a clean 
heart, and renew a right spirit within me." " Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me fromcyil." '* Giv« 
me neither poverty nor riches." " Guide me with thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory." A Hindoo, 
when he supplicates his god, prays for riches, or for recovery from sickness, or for a son, or for revenge upon 
his enemy. Sometimes, the worshipper places himself before the image in a sitting posture, and , c losing his 
eyes, prays, " Oh, god ! give me beauty, let me be praised, give me prosperity, give me a son, give me riches, 
give me long life, or, give me health," &c. The eldest female of the house, throwing her garment over her shoul- 
der, and sitting on her hams, joining her hands, in the same manner, prays, '*Oh ! god ! preserve these my chil- 
dren, and my son's wife ; do not sutfer us to have sorrow again in our family {referring to some death lathe pre- 
ceding year), and then I will present offerings to thee every year :" saying this, she prostrates herself before the 
image. Sometimes a woman, after bathing, stretches her arms towards the son, and says, *< Oh, god of day ! such 
a one has ill-treated me ; do thou afflict her. See ! I supplicate thee without having touched or tasted food." A 
poor man, in the presence of an image, sometimes prays, " Oh, god ! fill me every day with food. I aik no more." 

G 2 


commoD, and is considered as one of the most efficacious, acts of devotion prescribed in the 
shastriis. The oftener the name is repeated^ the greater the merit. Persons may be seen in 
the streets repeating these names either alone, or at work, or to a parrot ; others, as they walk 
along, count the repetitions by the beads of their necklace, which they then hold in the baud. 

A great number of prescribed ceremonies called vriitiis exist among the Hindoos, which are 
practised with the hope of obtaining some blessing : females chiefly attend to these ceremo- 

Fasting is another act of religious merit among the Hindoos. Some fasts are extremely se- 
vere, and a Hindoo who is very religious must oAen abstain from food. It is commended, not 
as an act of preparation for some duty calling for great attention of mind, but as an instance 
of self-denial in honour of the gods, 'which is yery pleasing to them. One man may fast for 
another, and the merit of the action is then transferred to the person paying and employing 
another in this work. 

Gifts to bramhans are highly meritorious, as might be expected in a system exclusively form- 
ed for their exaltation : the more costly the gift, the more valuable the promissory note, drawn 
on heaven, and presented to the giver. Giving entertainments to bramhuns is also another 
action which procures heaven. 

Hospitality to travellers is placed among the duties of the Hindoos, and is practised to a con- 
siderable extent, though the distinctions of cast destroy the feelings which should give eflicacy 
to this excellent law. So completely do these distinctions destroy every generous and bene- 
volent feeling, that many unfortunate creatures perish in the sight of those who are well able 
to relieve them, but who exonerate themselves from this duty, by urging, that they are of another 
cast : a bramhun finds friends every where, but the cast has sunk the afflicted shoodrii to the 
level of the beasts: when a bramhun is relieved, however, he is not indebted to the benevolence 
of his countrymen, so much as to the dread which they feel lest neglect of a bramhun should 
bring upon them the wrath of the gods. 

Digging pools, planting trees for fruit or shade, making roads for pilgrims, &c. arc other du- 
ties commanded by the shastra, and practised by the modern Hindoos. 



Reading and rehearsing the pooraniis are prescribed to the Hindoos as religious duties, and 
many attend to them at times in a very expensive manner. 

Other ceremonies contrary to every principle of benevolence exist amoogthis people, one 
of which is to repeat certain formulas for the sake of injuring, removing, or destroying enemies. 
Here superstition is made an auxiliary to the most diabolical passions. 

But what shall we say of the murder of widows on the funeral pile: this too is an act of 
grca t piet5 . The priest assists the poor wretch, in her last moments, before she falls on the pile, 
with the formulab given by the Hindoo legislators, and, to complete this most horrible of all 
religious customs, the son of this wretched victim kindles the fire in the very face of the mo- 
ther w ho gave him birth. Can there possibly be a greater outrage on human nature ] Is there 
any thing like it in all the records of the mpst wild and savage nations 1 The North Ameri- 
can Indian proceeds with the utmost coolness, it is true, in the work of scalping and murder, 
but the victim is his enemy, taken in battle ; Here the victim is an innocent woman — a mother 
— a widow, her heart fresh bleeding under the loss of the companion of her youth — the mur- 
derer, her own child — dragged to the work by the mtV^ bramhnn, who dances, and shouts, and 
drowns the cries of the family and the victim in the horrid sounds of the drum. Such is the 
balm which is here poured into the broken heart of the widow. Nor are these unheard of, 
unparalleled murders, perpetrated in the night, in some impenetrable forest, but in the pre- 
sence of the whole population of India, in open day; — and oh ! horrible, most horrible! not 
less than^vf thousand of these unfortunate women, it is supposed, are imm^olated every twelve 
months. I have heard that the son sometimes manifests a great reluctance to the deed,* and 
that some of these human sacrifices are almost dead before they are touched by the flames.t 
It is certain, that in many cases *the family do much to prevent the female from being thus 
drawn into the flaming gulph ; but such are the efl:ects of superstition, and the influence of 
long- established customs, joined to the disgrace and terrors of a state of widowhood, that, 
in the first moments of grief and distraction for the loss of her husband, reason is overpowered^ 

• The sbaalra prescribes, that he should do it with his head turned from the pile. Keonett, describing the 
Roman funerals, says, " The next of blood performed the ceremony of lighting the pile, which they did with a 
torch, turning their face all the while the othter way, as if it was done out of necessity and not willingly." 

-f These barbarous murderers say, that when a woman is thus frightened to death, the gods, charmed with 
her devotion, have taken her before she entered upon this bojy act. 



and the widow perishes on the funeral pile> the victim of grief, soperstitioo, and dread. Ma- 
ny widows are buried alive with the corpses of their husbands.* 

Voluntary suicide is not only practised to a dreadful extent among the Hindoos, but the 

• The following circumstance took place at Gondttl-pani, about SO miles N. of Calcutta, on ibe 18th of March, 
1813, and was communicated to the author by Captain Kemp, an eye-witness. The description is nearly in bis 
own words: ** On Thursday laiit, at nine in the morning, VishwC-nat^hii, one of onr best workmen, who bad been 
sick hut a short time, was brouj^ht don n to the river side to expire : he was placed, as is customary, on the bank, 
and a consultation held respecting the lime he would die : the astrologer predicted, that his dissolution was near 
at band. Tlie sick man was (hen immersed up to the middle in the river, and there kept for some time, bnt death 
not being so near as was predicted, he was again placed on the beach, extend M at full length, and exposed to 
a hot sun, where he continued the .\>hole of the day, excepting at those intervals when it was supposed he was 
dying, w hen he was again immersed in the sacred stream. I visited him in the evening; he was sensible, but bad 
not the power of utterance; be bow ever was able to make signs with bis hand, that he did not wish to drink the 
river water, which they kept almost continually pouring into his mouth by meansofa small shell. He remained 
in this situation during the night : in the morning the immersions again commenced, and were continued at inter- 
vals till about five in the evening, when he expired, or was literally murdered. His wife, a young woman about 
sixteen years of age, hearing of his death, came to the desperate resolotion of being buried alive with the corpse. 
She was accompanied by her friends down to the beach where the body lay, where a small branch of the Man- 
go tree was presented to her, which (as I understood) was setting a seal to her determination $ from which, after 
having accepted the branch, she could not retreat. I went to her, and questioned her with respect to the hor- 
rid act she was about to perform, whether it was voluntary or from persuasion : nothing of the latter appeared : 
it was entirely her own desi re. I spoke to her relations on the heinomness of the crime they were guilty of, in 
allowing the young creature thus to precipitate herself into the presence of her Creator uncalled for. Mrs. K. 
spoke both to the mother and the daughter a good deal, but all to no purpose. The mother declared, that it was 
her daughter's choice, who added, that she was determined to "go (he road her husband had gone." There was 
not the least appearance of regret observable in the mother's countenance, or conduct. A woman, then, can 
•* forget her sucking child, and forsake the child of her womb :" the prophet seemed to think it only possible that 
there might exist such a monster, but here it was realized : here was a monster of a mother, that could resTj^n her 
child, the gift of a gracious Providence, and designed to be the comfort and support of her old age, could, with- 
out the least apparent emotion, consign this child alive to the tomb, and herself continue an unmoved spectator of 
the horrid deed. At eight, P. M. the corpse, accompanied by this self-devoted victim, was conveyed to a place a 

little below our grounds, where I repaired, to behold the perpetration of a crime which I could scarcely believe 
possible to be committed by any human being: the corpse was laid on the earth by the river till a circular grave 
of about fifteen foel in circumference and five feet orsix in depth was prepared. The corpse (after some formulas 
had been read) was placed at tb^ bottom of the grave in a sitting posture, with the face to the N. the nearest re- 
lation applying a lighted whisp of straw to the top of the head. The young widow now came forward, and having 
circumambulated the grave seven times, calling out Htiree B&l ! li&ree Bdl ! in which she was joined by the 
Burcounding crowd , descen4^d into it. I then approached within a foot of the grave, to observe if any re- 

luctance appeared in her countenance, or sorrow in that of her relations : in hers no alteration was percepti- 


shastrus positively recommend the crime, and promise heaven to the self-murderer, provided 
he die in the Ganges ! Nay, the bramhuus, as well as persons of other casts, assist those who 
design thus to end life, of which the reader will find instances recorded in pages 313, 314, 
and 315. In some places of the Ganges, deemed peculiarly sacred and efficacious, infatuated 
devotees very frequently drown themselves. A respectable bramhun assured the author, that 
in a stay of only two months at Allahabad, he saw about thirty persons drown themselves ! Le- 
pers are sometimes burnt alive with their own consent, to purify themselves from disease in the 
next birth. Others throw themselves under the wheels of Jagunnat'hu's ponderous car, and 
perish instantly. Thousands perish annually by disease and want on idolatrous pilgrimages ; 
and notwithstanding the benevolent efforts of Mr. Duncan, it is pretty certain, that infanti- 
cide is still practbed to a great extent in various parts of Hindoost*hanii : see p. 318. I have, in 
page 322, ventured to offer a calculation respecting the probable number of persons who pe- 
rish annually, the victims of the bramhinical superstition, and find, that it cannot be less than 
Ten Thousand Five Hundred! 

Another very popular act of Hindoo devotion is that of visiting sacred places.* There are 
few Hindoos grown up to mature age, who have not visited one or more of these places, the 

ble: 10 theirs, there was the appearaoce'of exultation. She placed herself iii a sitting posture, ^rith her face to 
the back of her basbaod, embraciag the corpse with her left arm, and recliniug her head on his shoulders ; the 
other hand she placed orer her own head, with her fore-finger erect, which she moved in acircnliir direction. 
The earth was then deliberately put round them, two men being in the grave for the purpose of stamping it round 
the living and the dead, which they did as a gardener does around a plant newly transplanted, till the earth 
rose to a level with the surface, or two or three feet above the heads of the entombed. As her head was co- 
vered some time before the finger of her right hand, 1 had an opportunity of observing whether any regret waji 
manifested ; bat the finger moved round in the same manner as at first, till the earth closed the scene. l<lot a 
parting tear \\p.s ob served to be shed by any of her relations, till the crowd began to disperse, when the usual 
lamentations and howling comm^ced, without sorrow." 

* A journey to Benares, &c. and Ihe performance of religious ceremonies there, are actions in the highest re- 
pute for religious merit amongst the Hindoos. Many sirkars in Calcutta indulge the hope, that they shall re- 
move all the sins they commit in (he service of Europeans (which every one knows areneitherfew nor small) by a 
journey to Benares Jl>efore they die. The Hindoo pundits declare, that even Europeans, dying at Benares, 
though they may have lived all their days upon co w*s flesh, will certainly obtain absorption into BriimbG. On this 
Bobject, they quote a couplet, in which Benares is compared to a loose female, who receives all, and destroys 
their desire of siq, by quenching their appetites. The Hindoo learned men also admit that Englishmen may 
partake of the blessings of their religion, in two other instances, viz. if they become firm believers in Gfinga, or 
die at JUg&nnat'hti-lub^trt. la all other respects^ the Uiadoo beaveDs are all fhot against eaten of cow's fleilu 


resort of pilgrims ; many spend their whole lives in passing repeatedly from one end of Hin- 
doost'hanu to the other as pilgrims ; nor are these pilgriniages confined to the lower orders, 
householders and learned hramhiins are equally infatuated, and think it necessary to visit one 
or more of these spots for the purification of the soul before death. In some instances, a river ; in 
others, a phenomenon in nature, and in others a famous idol, attracts the Hindoos. Large 
sums are expended by the rich, and by the poor their little all, in these journies, in the fees to 
thebramhuns, and in expences at the sacred place. I have given an account of the ceremonies 
preparatory to the pilgrimage, as well as of those which are performed when the pilgrims ar- 
rive at the consecrated place ; to which are also added particulars of the most frequented of 
these haunts of superstition. 

For the expiation of sin, many different one thods of atonement are prescribed in the Hin- 
doo writings, many of which, however, have fallen into disuse. 

Lest the observance of all these acts of religious homage should fail to secure happiness 
in a future stale, the Hindoos are taught to repeat the names of the gods in their last hours; 
and are also enjoined to make presents to the bramhuns, especially to their spiritual guides ; 
their relations also immerse the body of a deceased person up to the middle in the Ganges, 
and pour copiously of this sacred water into the dying man. 

To procure relief for the wandering spirit after death, they make to it offerings of rice, &c. 
in a religious ceremony, almost universally attended to, called the shraddhu, and on which 
very frequently a rich man expends not less than 3 or 400,000 roopees. To make this offer- 
ing at Guy a, is supposed to be attended with the certain deliverance of thie deceased from all 

The pooranils teach, that after death the soul becomes united to an aerial body, and pass- 
es to the seat of judgment, where it is tried by Yumu, the Indian Pluto, who decides upon 
its future destiny. It, however, remains in this aerial vehicle, till the last shraddhu is per- 

* *' Ah!" said a Hindoo, one day, inthe hearing of the author, lamenting the catastrophe, '^Itisnotever^-one, 
even of those who set out for GlSya, who reaches the place." Another Hindoo, id the presence of the author, rc- 
provyiga young bramhlSn, who refused to afford pecuniary help to his aged in6nn parent, asked him, if this was 
not the grand reason why a person entered into the marriage state, that he might have a son, who, by offeriogsat 
G&ya, might procure for him happiness after death ? 


formed twelve months after death, when it passes into happiness or misery according to the 
sentence of Yama. 

The same works teach, that there are many places of happiness for the devout, as well as of 
misery for the wicked ; that God begins to reward in this life those who have performed works 
of merit, and punbhes the wicked here by various afflictions: that indeed all present events, 
prosperous or adverse, are the rewards or punishments inevitably connected with merit or de- 
merit, either in a preceding birth, or in the present life; that where merit preponderates, the 
person, after expiating sin by death and by sufferings in hell, rises to a higher birth, or ascends 
to the heaven of his guardian deity. 

The joys of the Hindoo heavens are represented as wholly sensual, and the miseries of the 
wicked as consisting in corporal punishment: the descriptions of the former disgust a chaste 
mind by their grossness, and those given of the latter offend the feelings by their brutal litera- 

Anxious to obtain the Conf£ssion of Faith of a Bramhun, from his own pen, I soli- 
cited this of a man of superior understanding, and 1 here give a translation of this article : 

" God is invisible, independent, ever-living, glorious, uncorrupt, all^wise, the ever-blessed, 
the almighty ; his perfections are indescribable, and past finding out ; he rules over all, sup- 
ports all, destroys all, and remains after the destruction of all ; there is none like him ; he is si- 
lence ; he is free from passion, from birth, &c. from increase and decrease, from fatigue, the need 
of refreshment, &c. He possesses the power of infinite diminution, and lightness, and is the 
soul of all. 

''He created, and then entered into, all things, in which he exists in two ways, untouched 
by matter, and receiving the fruits of practice/ He now assumes visible forms, for the sake 
of engaging the minds of mankind. The different gods are parts of God, though his essence 
remains undiminished, as rays of light leave the sun his undiminished splendour. He created 
the gods to perform those things in the government of the world of which man was incapable. 

• Here an objection preneshard on the bramb&n, that it is God, or Spirit, then, in matter, that suflfers, since 
matter cannot suffer. To thi& he aoiiwers, that the heart, tbongh it be ioanimate, and, in conseqaence, unconsci- 
ous oiatter, by its nearneai to spirit, becomes capable of joy and sorrow, and that this is the sufferer. 



Some gods are parts of other gods, and there are deities of still inferior powers. If it be asked, 
why God himself does not govern the world, the answer is, that it might subject bim to ex- 
posure, and he chooses to be concealed : he therefore governs by the gods, who are emanati- 
ons from the one God, possessing a portion of his power: he who worships the gods as the 
one God, substantially worships God. The gods are helpful to men in all human affairs,, but 
they are not friendly to those who seek final absorption, being jealous lest, instead of attaining 
absorption, they should become gods, and rival them. 

" Religious ceremonies procure a fund of merit to the performer, which raises him in every 
future birth, and at length advances him to heaven, where he enjoys happiness for a limited 
period, or carries him towards final absorption. 

" Happiness in actual enjoyment is the fruit of the meritorious works of preceding births ; 
but very splendid acts of merit procure exaltation even in the birth in which they are perform- 
ed. So, the misery which a person is now enduring, is the fruit of crimes in a former birth: 
enormous crimes however meet with punishment in the life in which they are committed. The 
miseries of a future state arise out of sins unremoved by former sufferings: an inanimate state, 
and that of reptiles, are also called states of suffering. Absorption can be obtained only by 
qualifications acquired on earth ; and to obtain this, even an inhabitant of heaven must be born 
on earth. A person may sink to earth again by crimes committed in heaven. The joys of 
heaven arise only {ifixa the gr^tificatiop of }he senses. A person raised to heaven is consider- 
ed as a god. 

" Every ceremony of the Hindoo religion is either accompanied by a general prayer for some 
good, or is done from pure devotion, without hope of reward ; or from a principle of obedi- 
ence to the sbastro, which has promised certain blessings on the performance of such and such 
religious actions, 

"Various sacrifices are commanded, but the most common one at present is the burntoffcr- 
ing with clarified butter, &c. It is performed to procure heaven. — The worship of the gods 
is, speaking generally, followed by benefits in a future state, as the prayers, praise, and offer- 
ings, please the gods. — Repeating the names of the gods, procures heaven, for the name of god 
is like fire, which devours every combustible. — Bathing is the means of purification before re- 
ligious services, and when attended to in sacred places, merits heaven. — Gifts to the poor, and 




to persons of merit, and losing life to save anotl^er^ are actions highly meritorious, and procure 
for the person future happiness. — Fasting is an act of meri t, as the person refuses food in devotion 
to the gods. — Vows to the gods, procure heaven. — ^Praise offered to the gods in songs, is effica- 
cious in procuring future happiness. — Visiting holy places, a spiritual guide, a father or a mo- 
ther, destroys all sin. — Compassion, forbearance, tenderness (regarding the shedding of blood) 
speaking truth, entertaining strangers, becoming the refuge of the oppressed,piaQting trees, cut- 
ting pools of water, making flights of steps to holy rivers, and roads to holy places, giving wa- 
ter to the thirsty, building temples, and lodging-houses fortravellers ; hearing the praise of ihe 
gods, or a sacred book, &c are actions which merit heaven. — Religious austerities are useful 
to subdue the passions, and raise the mind to a pure state. These austerities are rewarded ei- 
ther by heaven or absorption.*' 

Thus hr thb bramhinical Confession of Faith. Its author has scarcely noticed the amazing 
efficacy ascribed to religious abstraction, and the austerities practised by anchorites, though the 
doctrine of the v^dus evidently favours an ascetic life. Indeed, retirement from the world 

and abstraction of mind, assisted by bodily austerities, is considered as the direct way to final 
beatitude ; yet it is not denied, but that a person who continues in a secular state, may, by per- 
forming the duties of his religion, accelerate his approach, either in this or some future birth, 
to divine destiny. The yogee being thus exalted in the Hindoo system of theology, and in 
consequence honoured by his countrymen, it has become very common to embrace the life of 
a religious mendicant ; to do which, indeed, among an idle, effeminate, and dissolute people, 
there are many inducements very different from those of a religious nature : disappointments 
in life, disagreeable domestic occurrences, wandering propensities, illicit connexions, and vt- 
ry often a wish to procure impunity in the commission of Vagrant crimes,^ induce many to 
embrace such a life. Perhaps there is not a single instance at present known, of a person's 
becoming an ascetic from the pure desire of absorption. In cases where there is the great- 

est appearance of such a desire, the hermit possesses a motive no higher than that of exemp- 
tion from the troubles of mortal existence. I have given in this work an account of near- 
ly twenty orders of mendicants, (p 371, &c.) the followers of different deities: these are the 

scourge of the country, though the legitimate offspring of this baneful superstition ; nor need 
we now expect to see realised the description of a yogee as laid down in the shastrn : this de- 

* I have Doticed in p. 370 the fact, that oiany hordes of meodicaots are armed, and live hy public plotader ; 
bat perhaps (here are quite as many secret robbers to be found in the ^arb of relig^ious mendicants. Since this 
(act lias become more generally ]uioi»n> many have suffered the punishment of their crimes. 

U 2 


scription never was realized : ifaose who have received the highest fiime as yogees, were as cor- 
rupt, perhaps, as the present wretched imitators of these austerities. Many actions are attri- 
buted to them which put human nature to the blush. 


The sum of the Hindoo doctrine, then, is this : — spirit dwelling in bodies, and partaking of 
the passions incident to residence in matter, is purified by austerities and numerous transmi- 
grations, and at length re-obtains absorption into the divine nature. Religious practice leads to 
better destiny, and divine destiny draws the person to abstraction and religious austerities. 

Such is the Hindoo religion ; let us examine how far it is practised at present. The ceremo- 
nies most popular are — the daily ablutions, repeating the names of the gods, the daily worship 
of some idol, and visiting holy places. The works of merit in greatest estimation are, entertain- 
ing bramhuns, building temples, cutting pools, erecting landing-places to theGanges, and ex- 
pensive offerings to deceased ancestors. 

The strict bramhdns are distinguished by a scrupulous regard to bathing, the daily wor- 
ship of their guardian deity, and a proud contempt of the lower orders. The voishnnviis are 
more sociable, and converse much among each other on their favourite Krishnil, and the acci- 
dents connected with religious pilgrimages. 

At present, says the bramhiln whose confession of faith has been given in the preceding 
pages, " nine parts in ten of the whole Hindoo population have abandoned all conteientiou$ 
regard to the forms of their religion. They rise in the morning without repeating the name of 
god, and perform no religious ceremony whatever till the time of bathing at noon, when, for 
fear of being reproached by their neighbours, they go and bathe; a few labour through the 
usual ceremonies, which occupy about fifteen minutes ; the rest either merely bathe, or hypo- 
critically make a few of the signs used in worship, and then return home, and eat. This con- 
stitutes the whole of their daily practise. Among these nine parts, moreover, there arc many 
who spend the time of bathing in conversation with others, or in gazing at the women; and some 
are to be found who ridicule those who employ a greater portion of time in religious ceremo- 
nies : " What ! you have taken an ass's load of religion." " Faith ! you are become very rdi- 
gious— a very holy man. Rise, and go to your proper work." Three fourths of the single 
tenth part attend to the daily duties of their religion in the following manner: when they rise. 


they repeat the name of their guardian deity, make a reverential motion with the head and hands, 
in remembrance of thtir absent spiritual guide, then wash themselves in the house, and pursue 
their business till noon. Should the wife or child have neglected to prepare the flowers, 

^c for worship, the master of the family scolds his wife ic some such words as these : '* Why 
do I labour to maintain jou I It is not because you can answer for me, or preserve me from 
punishment at death, but that you may assist me in these things, that I may repeat the name 
of god, and prepare for a future state/' If the son is to be reproved for such a neglect, the 
hXher asks him, if he is not ashamed to spend so much time in play, careless how much fatigue 
he undergoes to please himself, wliile he is unwilling to do the smallest trifle to please the gods. 
He declares himself ashamed of such a family, and desires to see their faces no more. He 
then gathers the flowers himself, and going to the river side, takes some clay, examines whe- 
ther it be free from every impurity, lays it down, taking a morsel with him into the water, im- 
merses himself once, and then rubs himself with the clay, repeating this prayer, " Oh ! earth, 
thou bearest the weight of the sins of all: take my sins upon thee, and grant me deliverance." 
He then invites to him the river goddesses Yiimoona, Godavnree, Sur6swutee, N&rmnda, Sin- 
dhoo, and Kav^ree, that he may, in Gnnga, have the merit of bathing in them all at once, and 
again immerses himself, after repeating, " On such a day of the month, on such a day of the 
moon, &c. I (such a one; bathe in the southwards-flowing Gdnga.*^ He then oflTers up a pray- 
er for himself in some such words as these, " Ubba^il-cbdriind, praying for final happiness for 
ten millions of his family, bathes in Gnnga," and then immerses again. Next, he repeats the day 
of the month, of the moon, &c. and immerses himself, while he utters, *' Let my guardian deity 
be propitious," and then ascends the bank, wiping his hair, and repeating the praises of Gnn- 
ga, as, " O Gnnga, thou art the duojiof heaven, thou art the watery image of religion, thou art 
the garland round the head of Shivn ; the very craw-fish in thee are happy ; while a king at a 
distance from thee is miserable." He then bits down, and repeats certain prayers to the sun, 
for the removal of his sins, among which is the celebrated gayntree, "Let us meditate on the 
adorable light cf the divine Ruler (Savitree): may it guide our intelltcts." He next pours 
out drink-offerings to Ynmn, to Bramha, Vishnoo, Roodrd, the eight progenitors of mankind, 
to all the gods, and all living things in the three worlds, to certain sages, and at length to his 
forefathers, praying that they may hereby be satisfied. Now he forms, with tlie clay he had 
prepared, an image of the lingd, and worships it, which act includes praise to one of the gods, 
prayers for preservation, meditation on the form of the idol, hymns on the virtues of some dei- 
ty, and repetitions of the namesof the gods. He then returns home, and repeats, if he has lei- 
sure, certain portions of one of the shastrns. Before he begins to eat, he offers up his food 


f o his guardian deity, saying, I offer this food to such a god, and after sitting, ivitb his eyes clos- 
ed, as long as would be requisite to milk a cow, he takes the food and eats it In the evea- 
ing, just before sun-set, if he have a temple belonging to him, he presents some fruits, &c. to 
the image, repeats part of the ceremonies of the forenoon, and the name of some deity at con- 
siderable length. When he retires to rest, he repeats the word Pndjna-nabha, a name of Vish- 
noo. Perhaps one person in ten thousand carries these ceremonies a little farther than this." 

As a person passes along the streets and roads he is continually reminded of one or other 
of these ceremonies : Here sits a man in bis shop, repeating the name of his guardian deity, 
or teaching it to his parrot* — there go half a dozen voiragecs, or other persons, making their 
journey to some holy place — here passes a person, carrying a basket on his head, containing 
rice, sweetmeats, fruits, flowers, &c. an offering to his guardian deity — here comes a man 
with a cbaplet of red flowers round his head, and the head of a goat in his hand, having left the 
blood and carcase before the image of Kalee, — there sits a group of Hindoos, listening to three 
or foqr persons rehearsing and chanting poetical versions of the pooranos — here sits a man 
in the front of his house reading one of the pooraniis,t moving his body like the trunk of a tree 
in a high wind — and, (early in the morning) here comes a group of jaded wretches, who have 
spent the night in boisterously singing filthy songs, and dancing in an indecent manner, before 
the image ofDoorga. Add to this, the villagers, men and women, coming d rippling from the 
l)anks of the Ganges — and the reader has a tolerable view of the Hindoo idolatrj', as it stalks, 
every day, along the streets and roads, and as it may be recognized by any careless observer. 

The reader will perceive, that in all these religious cenfmonies not a particle is found to in- 
terest or amend the heart; no family bible, "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruc- 

• This ceremony is supposed to Bring great blessings both on the teacher and the scholar: the parrot obtains 
heaven, and so does its master. Nambers of Hindoos, particularly in a morning and evening, may be seen in the 
streets fvalkin<; about with parrots in their hands, and repeating aloud to them " Radba-Krishniii, Radha-Krish- 
jiii, KrishnQ, Krishna, Radha, Radha," or " ShivS-Doorga," or ** Kalcc-tttraO." Some are thus employed 
six months, oihen twelve or eighteen, before the parrot has learnt his lesson. The merit consists in having re- 
peated the name of a god so great a number of times. 

t Reading a book, or having it read at a person's house, even though the person himself should not undentand 
it, is a most meriioi ious action. The love of learning for Its own sake is nnkoown in Bengal : a Hindoo, if he 
applies to Icaininsj, always does it to obmins roopees — or heaven. When he opens one of the shastrtis, or even 
an accouni book, he makes a bow to the book. A shop-keeper, when he is about to balance his books, unecr- 
4ain how the balance will fall, makes a vow to some god, that if by his favoar he should not find himself in debt, 
he will present to him some offerings. 


tion in righteousness, that men may be thoroughly furnished unto all good works/' no do- 
mcstic worship;* no pious assembly where the village preacher "attempts each art, reproves 
"each dull delay, allures to brighter worlds, and leads the way." No standard of morals to 
repress the vicious ; no moral education in which the principles of virtue and religion may be 
implanted hi the youthful mind. Here every thing that assumes the appearance of religion, 
ends (if you could forget its impurity) in an unmeaning ceremony, and leaves the heart cold as 
death to every moral principle. Hence the great bulk of the people have abandoned eve- 

ry form and vestige of religious ceremony. The bramhan who communicated this informati- 
on, attributed this general disregard of their religion to the kfilee-yoogfl, and consoled himself 
with the idea, that this deplorable state of things was an exact fulfilment of certain prophecies 
in the pooranas. 

Some persons may plead. The doctriue of a state of future rewards and punishments has 
always been supposed to have a strong influence on public morals : the Hindoos not only 
have this doctrine in their writings, but are taught to consider every disease and misfortune of 
life as an undoubted symptom of moral disease, and the terrific appearances of its close-pur- 
suing punishment — can this fail to produce a dread of vice, and a desire to merit the favour 
of the deity? I will still further assist the objector, and inform him, that the Hindoo writings 
declare, that till every immoral taint is removed, every sin atoned for, aod the mind has obtain- 
ed perfect abstraction from material objects, it is imposible to be reunited to the Great Spi- 
rit, an|i that, to obtain this perfection, the sinner must linger in many hells, and transmigrate 
through almost every form of matter. Great as these terrors are, there is nothing more 

palpable, than that, with most of the Hindoos, they do not weigh the weight of a feather, 
compared with the loss of a roopee : the reason is obvious : every Hindoo considers all his ac- 
tions as the effect of hL^ destiny ; he laments peihaps his miserable fate, but he resigns himself to 
it without a strut'gle, like the malefactor in a condemned cell. To this may be added, what 
must have forced itself on the observation of every thoughtful observer, that in the absence 
of the religious principle, no outward terrors, especially those which are invisible and future, 
not f^ven bodilv sufferings, are sufficient to make men virtuous. — ^Painful experience proves, 
thai even in a christian country, if the religious principle does not exist, the excellency and 
the rewards of virtue, and the dishonour and misery attending vice, may be held up to men 
tor ever, without making a single convert. 

• The women and children take no share in the worship performed by the master of (he family. It li not 
> apposed to belong to them. See page 251. 


But let US now advert to the pernicious errors inculcated in the Hindoo writings^ and to 
the vices and miseries engendered by the popular superstition : — 

The Bhugiiviit-Geeta contains the following most extraordinary description of God: ** SUn- 
jiiyii. The mighty compound and divine being Horee, having, O raja, thus spoken, made evi- 
dent unto Urjoona his supreme and heavenly form ; of many a mouth and eye ; many a heavenly 
ornament ; many an up-raised weapon ; adorned with celestial robes and chaplets ; anointed 
with heavenly essence ;* covered with every marvellous thing ; the eternal God» whose counte- 
nance is turned on every side! The glory and amazing splendour of this mighty Being maybe 
likened to the sun rising at once into the heavens, with a thousand times more than usual bright- 
ness. The son of Pandoo then beheld within the body of the god of gods, standing together, the 
whole universe divided into its vast variety. He was overwhelmed with wonder, and every hair 
was raised an end. He bowed down his head before the god, and thus addressed him with join- 
ed hands : <* UtjoonU. I behold, O god ! within thy breast, the d6vus assembled, and every spe- 
cific tribe of beings. I see Brnmha, that deity sitting on his lotus-throne ; all the rishees and 

heavenly oorugus. I see thyself, on all sides, of infinite shape, formed with abundant arms, 

and bellies, and mouths, and eyes ; but 1 can neither dbcover thy beginning, thy middle* nor 

again thy end. O universal lord, form of the universe! I see thee with a crown, and armed 

with club and chnkru, a mass of glory, darting refulgent beams around. I see thee, difficult to 

be seen, shining on all sides with light immeasurable, like the ardent fire, or glorious sun. I see 

thee of valour infinite; the sun and moon thy eyes ; thy mouth a flaming tire; and the whole 

world shining with reflected glory ! The space between the heavens and the earth is possessed 

by thee alone, and every point around ; the three regions of the universe, O mighty spirit ! be- 

hold the wonders of thy awful countenance with troubled minds. Of the celestial bands, some 

I see fly to thee for refuge ; whilst some, afraid, with joined hands sing forth thy praise. The 

mnhurshees, holy bands, hail thee, and glorify thy name with adorating praises. The roodrus, 

the adityus, the vasoos, and all those beings the world esteemeth good ; nshwinii, and koomaro, 

the muroots and the ooshmnpas; the gundhurvus and ynkshfts, with the holy tribes of usoorus, 

all stand gazing on thee, and all alike amazed ! The worlds, alike with me, are terrified to 

behold thy wondrous form gigantic : with many mouths and eyes ; with many arms, and legs* 

and breasts ; with many bellies, and with rows of dreadful teeth ! Thus as I see thee, touching 

the heavens, and shining with such glory ; of such various hues, with widely -opened mouths> 

and bright expanded eyes, I am disturbed within me*; my resolution failelh me, O Vishnoo! 

and I find no rest ! Having beholden thy dreadful teeth» and gazed on thy countenance^ em- 

r- ' - -» 





blcm of time's last fire, 1 know not which way I turn ! I find no peace ! Have mercy then, 
O god of gods! thou mansion of the universe! The sons of Dhritnrashtrik, now^ with all those 
ruleis of the land, Bheeshmo, Drond, the son of Soota, and even the fronts of our army» seem to 
be precipitating themselves hastily into thy mouths, discovering such frightful rows of teeth ! 
whilst some appear to stick between thy teeth with their bodies sorely mangled.''* — ^It should 
be observed, that this frightful description of the Hindoo Supreme Being does not relate to the 
ferocious Kalee, drinking the blood of the giants, but it is the playful Krishnn who thus shews 
his dreadful teeth, with the mangled bodies of the family of Dhrit&rashtru sticking between 

No question occurs so frequently in the Hindoo shastrus as this — What is God 1 To know 
whether he exists or not, p^ge upon page has been written, and this question has been agitated 
in every period of Hindoo history, wherever two or three pandits happened to meet, with a 
solicitude, but, at the same time, with an uncertainty, which carries us at once to the aposto- 
y lie declaration, *' The world by wisdom knew not God." Some pundits call him the invi-^- 
sible and ever-blessed ; others conceive of him as possessing form; others have the idea that 
h^ exists like an inconceivably small atom ; sometimes he is^male ; at other times female ; some- 
times both male and female, producing a world by conjugal union ; sometimes the elements 
assume his place, and at other times he is a deified hero; Thus in 330,000,000 of forms, or 
names, this nation, in the emphatical language 4>f St Paul, has been, from age to age^ *' feel- 
ing after" the Supreme Being, like men groprog '< in the region and shadow of death,'' and, 
after so many centuries, the question is as much undetermined as ever — What is God? 

One day, in conversation with the Sungskritd head-pundit of the College of Fort William, 
on the subject of God, tliis man, who is truly learned in this own shastrus, gave the author, ' 
from one of their books, the following parable : In a certain country there existed a village 
of blind inen, who had heard of an amazing animal called the elephant, of the shape of which, 
however, they could procure no idea. One day an elephant passed through the place : the vil- 
lagers crowded to the spot where the animal was standing ; and one of them seized his trunk, 
another his ear, another his tail, another one of his legs. After thus endeavouring to gratify 
their curiosity, they returned into the village, and sitting down together, began to communicate 
their ideas on the shape of the elephant to the viihgers: the man who had seized his trunk said, 

• Wilkins't translation of the BhfigSvfttii-GeSta. 


be thought this animal must be like the body of the plantain treerhe who had touched his car, 
vas of opinion, that he was like the winnowing fan ; the man who had hid hold of his tail, said, 
he thought he must resemble a snake, and he who had caught hb leg, declared, he must be like 
a pillar. An old blind man of some judgment wa» present, who, though greatly perplexed in 
attempting to reconcile these jarring notions, at length said — " You have all been to examine 
this animal, and what you report, therefore, cannot be false: I suppose, then, that the part re- 
sembling the plantain tree, must be his trunk ; what you thought similar to a fan, must be his 
ear; the part like a snake, must be the tail; and that like a pillar must be his leg." In this 
way, the old man, uniting all their conjectures, made out something of the form of the ele- 
phant. — Respecting God, added the pandit, we are all blind ; none of us have seen him ; those 
who wrote the siiastrus, like the old blind man, have collected all the reasonings and conjee- 
tures of mankind together, and have endeavoured to form some idea of the nature of the divine 
Being.* It is an irresistible argument in favour of the majesty, simplicity, and truth of the 
Holy Scriptures, that nothing of this uncertainty has been left on the mind of th^ most illite- 
rate christian. However mysterious the subject, we never hear such a question started in 
cSiristian countries — What is God 1 

The doctrine of a plurality of gods, with their consequent intrigues, criminal amours, quar- 
rels, and stratagems to counteract each other, has produced the most fatal effects on the minds 
of men. Can we expect a people to be better than their gods? Brdmha was inflamed with evil 
desires towards his own daughter.! — Visbnoo, when incarnate as Bamiino, deceived king Ba- 
lee, and deprived him of his kingdom.^ — Shiva's wife was constantly jealous on account of his 
amours, and charged him with associating with the women of a low cast at Cooch-Behar: the 
story of Shiva and Mohinee, a female form of Visbnoo, is shockingly indelicate. § — Vrihuspii- 
tee, the spiritual guide of the gods, committed a rape on his eldest brother's wife.|| — Indra was 
guilty of dbhonouring the wife of his spiritual guide.* — Sooryu ravished a virgin named Koon- 
tee.f — Ynmo, in a passion, kicked his own mother, who cursed him, and afflicted him with a 
swelled leg, which to this day the worms are constantly devouring.^ — ^Ugnee was inflamed with 
evil desires towardssix virgins, the daughters of as many sages, but was over awed by the presence 
of his wife.§ — Biilarama was a great drunkard.|| — Vayoo was cursed by Duksha, for making 
his daughters crooked when they refused his embraces. He is also charged with a scandalous 

• ActszTii. 87. f See Kalikapoorana. t See MChabharfitft. ^ Ibid. || Ibid. * Ibid, 
f Ibid. t Il>ld. h Ibid. 1 Ibid. 


conaection vrith a female monkey.* — When Vuroont was walkiug iu Lis own heaven, he was 
ao smitten with the charms of Oorvushe^ a countezan, that, after a long contect, she was scarce- 
ly able to extricate herself from him.t — Krishna's thefts, wars, and adulteries are so numer* 
ous, that his whole history seems to be one uninterrupted series of crimes.| — In the images 
of Kalee, she is represented as treading on the breast of her husband .§ — Lnkshmeeand Sortis* 

wdtee, the wives of Vishnoo, were continually quarrelling.|| It is worthy of enquiry, how the 

world is governed by these gods more wicked than men, that we may be able to judge how far 
they can be the objects of faith, hope and affection. Let us open the Hindoo sacred writ- 
ings: here we see the Creator and the Preserver perpetually counteracting each other. Some« 
times the Preserver is destroying, and at other times the Destroyer is preserving. On a cer« 
tain occasion,* Shiva granted to the great enemy of the gods, Ravanu, a blessing which set all 
their heavens in an uproar, and drove the 330,000,000 of gods into a stale of desparation. 
Bramha created Koombha-karnii, a monster larger than the whole island of Ldnka, but was 
obliged to doom him to aa almost perpetual sleep, to prevent his producing an universal fa* 
mine. This god is often represented as bestowing a blessing, to remove the effects of which 

Vishnoo b obliged to become incarnate, nay, these effects have not in some cases been remov- 
ed till all the gods have been dispossessed of their thrones, and obliged to go a begging ; till all 
human affairs have been thrown into confusion, and all the elements seized and turned against 
the Creator, the Preserver, and the Reproducer. When some giant, blessed by Bramha, has 
destroyed the creation, Vishnoo and Shiva have been applied to, but they have confessed that 
they could do nothing for the tottering universe. 

Reverence for the gods, especially among the poor, as might be expected, does not exceed 
their merits; yet it is a shocking fact, that language like the following should be used respect- 
ing what the Hindoos suppose to be the Providence which governs the world : When it thun- 
ders awfully, respectable Hindoos say, " Oh ! the gods are giving us a bad day ;" the lowes 
orders say, " The rascally gods are dying." During a heavy rain, a woman of respectable 
cast frequently says, "Let the gods perish! my clothes are all wet/' A man of low cast says. 
" These rascally gods are sending more rain." 

In witnesssing such a state of gross ignorance, on a subject of infinite moment to men, how 

• See Raniay5Di!i. f Ibid. t ^^ ^^^ ShreS-bbagfiYfttfi. § See the Marktind^yi^ pooranQ. 

I See tbeVriJiGddh&rm& pooran&. ^ See the RamayftnU. 

I 2 


forcibly do we feel Ihe truth and the wisdom of the declaration of the Divine Author of the 
Christian religion, " This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God !" A correct know- 
ledge of the Divine Perfections, in the mind of a sincere christian, is a treasure which transcends 
in value all the riches of the earth: for instance, how much does the doctrine of the Divine Uni- 
ty tend to fix the hope and joy of the christian, but the poor Hindoo knows not, amongst so 
many gods, upon whom to call, or in whom to trust. In the Spirituality of the Divine Nature, 
united to omniscience and omnipresence, the Christian finds a large field for the purest and most 
sublime contemplations ; but the degraded idolator, walking round his pantheon, sees beings 
that fill him only with sliame or terror: he retires from the image of Kalee overwhelmed with 
horror, and from those of Radha-Krishnu with confiision and contempt — or else inflamed with 
concupiscence. How effectual to awaken the fears and excite the salutary apprehensions of 
those who neglect their best interests, is the scripture doctrine of the Divine Purity and Justice; 
but the wretched Hindoo has the examples of the most corrupt beings, even in his gods, to lead 
him to perdition. How necessary to the happiness of a good man, are just ideas of the wisdom, 
and equity, and beneficence, of providential dispensations ; the reader has seen how impossible 
it is fo»a Hindoo to derive the smallest consolation in adversity from the doctrine of the shas- 
this respecting the government of the world. How consoling to a person, sensible of many fail- 
ings, is the doctrine of the Divine Mercy ; but these heathens have nothing held out to encour- 
age the hopes of the penitent ; nothing short of perfect abstraction, and the extinction of every 
desire, qualify for deliverance from matter. — ^The sincere Christian, with his knowledge of God, 
" casteth all his care on his Father, who is in heaven;" and the language of his mind, invigo- 
rated by the living waters flowing from the fountain of eternal truth, i^, "thou shalt guide me 
*' with thy counsel;" "though I walk through the valley and even the shadow of death, I will 
*' fear no evil, for Thou art with me ; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.'' 

The Hindoo writings farther teach, that it is the Great Spirit which is diffused through eve- 
ry form of animated matter; that actions of ever 1/ kind are his; that he is the charioteer, and 
the body the chariot ;* that it is the highest attainment of human wisdom to realize the fact, 
that the human soul and Brfimhu are one and the same. By this doctrine, all accountability is 
destroyed, and liability to punishment rendered preposterous. How often has the author heard 
it urged by the most sensible Hindoos, that the moving cause of every action, however flagitious, 
is God ; that man is an instrument upon which God plays what tune he pleases. Another modifi- 

* See the Y^dantQ-saril* 



cation of this doctrine is that of &te, or unchangeable destby, embraced, without a dissentient 
voice, by all the Hindoos. Thus the Deit} on his throne is insulted as the author of all crim es, 
and men are emboldened to rush forward in the swifest career of iniquity. 

The sacred writings of the Hindoos encourage the bramhans to despise the great body of 
the people, and teach them, that the very sight and touch of a shoodrn renders them unclean. 
To be contented in ignorance, is the duty of a shoodrA, as well as to drink with reverence and 
hope the water in which the bramhnn has dipped his foot. The services too and the hopes 
held forth by this religion, arc almost exclusively confined to the bramhans. The shoodrtl 
is supposed to be bom to evil destiny ; and the only hope he can ^indulge is, that after a long- 
succession of transmigrations he may probably be born a bramhun. 

The subjugation of the passions, so much insisted upon in the Hindoo shastras, applies to 
all virtuous as well as vicious desires. The person who is divested of all desire, even that 

of obtaining God, is desciibed as having arrived at the summit of perfection. The love of 
parents, of children, &c. is an imperfection, according to the Hindoo code : hence says Krish- 
nu, " Wisdom is exemption from attachment and affection for children, wife and home."* 

These shastrus also teach, that sin may be removed by the slightest ceremony ; and thus, in- 
stead of reforming, they promise impunity in transgression. . See different stories in p. 05, 
209, and 215. 

The ut'hurvu v^du contains many prayers for the destruction of enemies; and gives a list 
of offerings proper to be presented to Bhuguvutee, that she may be induced to assist in the 
gratification of revengeful passions: among the rest, the worshipper is to make a paste image 
of a man, cut off its head, and offer this head to the goddess, with a burnt- sacrifice, &c. Is 

* At the time a learned native was assisting the Rev. Mr. Carey in the translation of the New Testament into the 
Siingskrilft, when such passages as these were translating, ^* Henceforth know 1 know no man after the flesh,*' 
•* We are dead, and our life is hid," &c. " I am crucieed to the world," " We arc fools for Christ," ** Wc are 
made a spectacle," &c. he exclaimed, ^ This is pure voirag'eism, Paul was a true PfirQm-h&ogsee.' Yet (he di- 
vine principles upon which P<iul trampled upon the world, and devoted himself supremely to God, have no ex- 
istence in the shasti&s. The Hindoo pi iiiciple is mere stoicism; its origin is either selfishness, or, infatuated am* 
bition; but the principle of the apostle, was the love of Christ who died on a cross for his enemies— at he him- 
•elfsays,'' The Io?e of Christ, like an irresistible torrent, bears us away j" 'Mf wcarcbewdcoursclvtf, H w 
for your sakes." 


it not reasonable to suppose, that human sacrifices preceded the cutting off the bead of this 
man of paste ; and that one man was sacrificed and offered to the gods to induce them to de- 
stroy another! 

In the Institutes of Miinoo a man is allowed to commit adultery, if the female consent; to 
steal, for the sake of performing a religious ceremony ; and to perjure himself from benevo- 
lent motives ; they also allow of lying, to preserve the life of a bramhun, to appease an angry 
wife, or to please a mistress.* What is still worse, in this code, a bramhun, in case of want, 
is permitted to steal, not from the rich merely, but — from his slave! It is a common sentiment 
among this people, that in secular transactions lying is absolutely necessary, and perjuiy is so 
common, that it is impossible to rely upon the testimony of Hindoo witnesses. The natives 
ridicule the idea of administering justice by oral testimony. 

I have given in p. 357 a few examples of persons raised to heaven by their own works, to 
shew that these works have nothing to do with real morality. But how shall we describe the 
unutterable abominations connected with the popular superstition? The author has witness- 
ed scenes which can be cloathed in no language, and has heard of other abominations prac- 
tised in the midst of religious rites, and in the presence of the gods, which, if they could be 
described, would fill the whole christian world with disgust and horror. Let impenetrable 
darkness cover them till " the judgment of the great day." 

Men are sufficiently corrupt by nature, without any outward excitements to evil in the pub- 
lic festivals ; nor have civil nor spiritual terrors, the frowns of God and governors united, 
been found sufficient to ktep within restraint the overflowings of iniquity; but what must be 
the moral state of that country, where the sacred festivals, and the very forms of religion, lead 
men to every species of vice! These festivals and public exhibitions excite universal atten- 
tion, and absorb, for weeks together, almost the whole of the public conversation ; and such 

• ** If a man, by the impalse oFlust, tell Ilea to a woman, or if his own life wonld otherwise he lost, or all 
the goods of his honse spoiled, or, if it is for the benefit of a bramhftn, in soch affairs, falsehood is allowable." 
Ualhcd't Code of Gentoo Laws, How can we wonder that the Hindoos should bcso addicted to falsehood, when 
even in the rig-v^dii, approached with profound reverence by so many Christian infidels, we find monstrous ex- 
aggerations like the following : ' BhQrfitti distributed in Mibhnarii a hundred and seven thousand millions of 
black elephants with white tusks, and decked with gold.' » A sacred fire was lighted for Bhiiriltii, son of 

DooBhiintfi, in Sachigoonli, at which a thousand bramhtins shared a thousand million* of cows a piece.' 5«« 
Jfr. CoUbrooke^t Estay, 


is the entbusiasm with which they are hailed, that the whole country seems to be thrown into 
a ferment: health, property, time, business, every thing is saciiiiced to them. In this 
• manner are the people prepared to receive impressions from their national institutions. If 
these institutions were favourable to virtue, the effects would be most happy ; but as, in addi- 
tion to their fascination, they are exceedingly calculated to corrupt the mind, the most dread 
ful consequences follow, and vice, like a mighty torrent, flows through the plains of Bengal, 
with the force of the flood tide of the Ganges, carrying along with it young and old, the learn- 
ed and the ignorant, rich and poor, all casts and descriptions of people — into an awful eter- 

In short, the characters of the gods, and the licentiousness which prevails at their festivals, 
and abounds in their popular works, with the enervating nature of the climate, have made the 
Hindoos the most effeminate and corrupt people on earth. I have, in the course of this work, 
exhibited so many proofs of this fact, that I will not again disgust the reader by going into the 
subject. Suflice it^to say, that fidelity to marriage vows is almost unknown among the Hiu- 
dobs; the intercourse of the sexes approaches very near to that of the irrational animals. Tlic 
husband almost invariably lives in criminal intercourse during the pupilage of bis infant wife, 
and she, if she becomes a widow, cannot marry, and in consequence, being destitute of a pro- 
tector and of every moral principle, becomes a willing prey to the lascivious. 

Add to all this, the almost incredible number of human victims which annually fall in this 
Aceldama. I have ventured on an estimate of the number of Hindoos who annually perish, 
the victims of the bramhinical religion (p. 3*22), and have supposed, that they cannot amount 
to less than 10,500! Every additional information I obtain, and the opinions of the best inform- 
ed persons with whom I am acquainted, confirm me in the opinion, that this estimate is too 
low, that the havock is far greater, however difficult it may be to bring the mind to contem- 
plate a scene of horror which outdoes all that has ever been perpetrated in the name of reli- 
gion by all the savage nations put together. These cruelties, together with the contempt 
which the Hindoos feel for the body as a mere temporary shell, cast off at ])leasure, iind the 
disorganizing effects of the cast, render them exceedingly unfeeling and cruel : of which their 
want of every national provision for the destitute, their leaving multitudes to perish before their 
own doors, unpi tied and even unnoticed; the inhuman manner in which they burn the bodies 
of their deceased relations, and their savage triumph when spectators of a Avidow burning in the 
flames of the funeral pile, arc awful examples. 


Bttt to know the Hindoo idolatry, as it is, a person must wade through the filth of the 
thirtjT-six pooranfis and other popular books — be must read and hear the modern popular po- 
ems and songs — he must follow the bramhnn through bis midnight orgies, before the image 
of Kalee, and other goddesses, or he must accompany him to the nightly revels, the jatras, 
and listen to the filthy dialogues which are rehearsed respecting Krishnft and the daughters 
of the milkmen ; or, he must watch him, at midnight, choaking, with the mud and waters of the 
Ganges, a wealthy rich relation, while in the delirium of a fever ; or, at the same hour, while 
murdering an unfaithful wife, or a supposed domestic enemy ; burning the body before it is 
cold, and washing the blood from his hands in the sacred stream of the Ganges ; or he must 
look at the bramhun, hurrying the trembling half dead widow round the funeral pile, and 
throwing her, like a log of wood, by the side of the dead body of her husband, tying her, and 
then holding her down with bamboo levers till the fire has deprived her of the power of rising 
and running away. — After he has followed the bramhnn through all these horrors, he will only 
have approached the threshold of this temple of Moloch, and he will begin to be convinced, 
that to know the Hindoo idolatry, as it is, a man must become a Hindoo — rather, he must 
become a bramhun, for a poor shoodrn, by the very circumstances of his degradation, is Ves« 
trained from many abominations which bramhdus alone are privileged to commit. And when 
he has done this, let him meditate on this system in its effects on the mind of the afflicted or 
dying Hindoo, as described in p. 349, 350, and 360, on reading which description he will per- 
ceive, that in distress the Hindoo utters the loudest murmurs against the gods, and dies in the 
greatest perplexity and agitation of mind. 

This state of things serves to explain the mysterious dispensations of Providence, in permit- 
ting the Hindoos to remain so long in darkness, and in causing them to suffer so much former- 
ly under their Mahometan oppressors. The murder of so many m;yriads of victims has arm- 
ed heaven against them. Let us hope that now, in the midst of judgment, a gracious Provi- 
dence has remembered mercy, and placed them under the fostering care of the British govern- 
ment, that they may enjoy a happiness to which they have been hitherto strangers. 

If then this system of heathenism communicates no purifying knowledge of the divine per- 
fections, snpplies no one motive to holiness while living, no comfort to the afflicted, no hope to 
the dying, but on the contrary excites to every vice, and hardens its followers in the most fla- 
grant crimes, how are we to account for the conduct of its apologists, except in the recollec- 



tioD, that the sceptical part of mankind have always been partial to heathenism. Volture, Gib- 
bon, Hume, &c. have been often chained with a strong )>artiality for the Grecian and Roman 

idolatries; and many Europeans in India are suspected of having made large strides towards 


heathenism. Even Sir Wm. Jones, whose recommendation of the Holy Scriptures (found in 
his Bible after his death,) has been so often and so deservedly quoted, it is said, to please his 
pundit, Ivas accustomed to study the shastrus with the image of a Hindoo god placed on hid ta- 
ble ; his fine metrical transitions of idolatrous hymns are known to every lover of verse.* In 
the same spirit, we observe, that figures and allusions to the ancient idolatries are retamed in al- 
most i|ll modern poetical compositions ; and even in some christian writings. 

However wonderful this partiality of professed christians to heathenism may be, it is not 
more extraordinary than the extravagant lengths into which some learned men have gone in 
their expectations from the antiquity of the Hindoo writings. Mr. Halhcd seenA to prefer Hin« 
dooism to Christianity purely on account of its boasted antiquity .f Dr. Stiles, president of 
Yale College in North America, formed such an enthusiastic expectation ft'om the amazing an- 
tiquity of the Hindoo writings, that he actually wrote to Sir William Jones, to request him to 

• << leoald not help feeliDg a de^ee of regret, in reading lately tlie Memoirs of tlie admirable aod estimable Sir 
William Jones. Some of bis researches in Asia have no doubt incidentally served the cause of religion ; but did he 
think the last pobsible direct service had been rendered to Christianity, that his accomplished mind was left at lei- 
rare for hymns to the Hindoo gods ? Was not this a violation even of the neutrality, and an offence, not only agaiilit 
the gospel, but against theism itself? 1 know what may be said about personWcation, license of poetry, and so 
on; bat should not a worshipper of God hold himself under a solemn obligation to abjure all tolerance of even 
poetical figures that can seriously seem, in any way whatever, to recognize the pagan divinities, or abominations, 
as the prophets of Jehovah would have called them ? What would Elijah have said to such an employment of ta- 
lents ? It would have availed liUle to have told him, that these divinities were only personifications (with their ap- 
propriate representative idols) of objects In nature, of elenieiits, or of abstractions. He would have sternly re-> 
plied — And was not Baal, whose prophets I destroyed, the same?*' Stt FotUr't incomparable Estays. 

f Is Mr. Halhed an example of the amazing credulity of unbelievers in every case wherein the Holy Bible 
is not concerned ? When he wrote his " Code of Gentoo Laws," he hesitated to believe the Bible because it was 
outdone in chronology by the histories of the Chinese and Hindoos. With sacred reverence he exclaims, at the 
close of his account of the four yoog&s, *' To such antiquity the Mosaic Creation is but as yesterday ; and to such 
ages the life of Methuselah is no more than a span !" He says, in another page, '* The conscientious scruples of 
Brydone will always be of some weight in the scale of philosophy." If the age or reign of Bi&mha, viz.. 

55,987,200,000,000 years, excited such sacred awe in the mind of this gentleman, what would have been his sen- 
sations, and how strong his faith in the " holy writ" of the Hindoos, if he had happened to read in the Rama- 
yfinik the acconnt of Ramli's army, which this " holy writ" says, amounted to 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 sol- 
flierr, or rather monkeys ! Again, two thousand times the fooryoogSs, or 8,640,000,000 years, is the age of the sage 
MarkGnd6y&. What, in the name of Mr. Halhed, is the life of Melhosaleh to this ! This unbeliever io Moses be- 
came at l4Ut, it is said, a firm belteyer in lizard Brothert t 




search among the Hindoos for the Adamic books. Had not this gentleman been a ?ealous 
chrisHan, it is likely his extravagant expectations might have led him to ask Sir William to trans- 
late and send him a book two or three mUlions of years old, written in some kalpn amidst the 
endless succession of worlds. 

For some time, a very unjuit and unhappy impression appeared to have been made on the 
public mind, by the encomiums past on the Hindoo writings. In the first place, they were 
thus elevated in their antiquity beyond the Christian scriptures, the writings of Moses having 
been called the productions of yesterday, compared with those of the bramhuns. The con- 
tents of these books also were treated with the greatest reverence; the primitive religion of the 
Hindoos, it was said, revealed the most sublime doctrines, and inculcated a pure morality. 
We were taught to make the greatest distinction between the ancient and modern religion of the 
Hindoos; for the apologists for Hindooism did not approve of its being judged of by present 
appearances. Some persons endeavoured to persuade us, that the Hindoos were not idolators, 
because they maintained the unity of God ; though they worshipped the works of their owu 
hands as God, and though the number of their gods was 330,000,000. It is very probable, that 
the unity of God has been a sentiment amongst the philosophers of every age, and that they 
wished it to be understood, that they worshipped the one God, whether they bowed before the 
image of Moloch, Jupiter or Kalee ; yet mankind have generally concluded, that he who wor- 
ships an image is an idolator, and I suppose they will continue to think so, unless, in this age 
of reason, common sense should be turned out of doors. 

Now, however, the world has had some opportunity of deciding upon the claims of the Hindoo 
writings, both as it respects their antiquity, and the value of their contents. Mr. Colebrooke's 
essay on the v^dns, and his other important translations; the Bhuguvut-Geeta, translated by Mr. 
Wilkins; the translation of the RamayiiDu, several volames of which have been printed; some 
valuable papers in the Asiatic Researches ; with other translations by different Sdngskrita scho* 
lars, have thrown a great body of light on this subject, and this light is daily increasing. 


. Many an object appears beautiful when seen at a distance, and through a mist, but when the 
fog has dispersed, and the person has approached it, he smiles at the deception. Such is the 
exact case with these books, and this system of idolatry. Because the public, for want of being 
jnore familiar with the subject, could not ascertain the point of time when the Hindoo sbastrus 




were wrhteo, they therefore at ODce believed the assertions of the bramhunSy and their friends, 
that their antiquity was unfiithomable. 

The Reverend Mr. Maurice has attempted to describe the Hindoo ceremonies, which he ne- 
ver saw, in the mo^t captivating terms, and has painted these ** abominable idolatries" id the 
most florid colours. It might have been expected, (idolatry bemg in itself an act so degrading 
to man, and so dishonourable to God,) that a christian divine would have been shocked while 
writung in this manner. If Mr. Maurice think there is something in Hindooism to excite the' 
/ most sublime ideas, let him come and join in the dance before the idol, — or assist the bramhuns 

in crying Hikree hul! HUree bull* while the fire is seizing the limbs of the young and unfor- 
tunate Hindoo widow, — or, let him attend at the sacrificing of animals betbre the images of 
KalS and Doorga-»or, come aad join in the dance, stark naked, in the public street, in open 
day, before the image of Doorga, in the presence of thousands of spectators, young and old, male 
and female. He will find, that the sight will neVer make these holy bramhuns, these mild and 
innocent Hindoos, blush for a moment. Seriously, should sights like these raise the ardour of 
enthusiasm^ or chill the blood, of a christian minister ? Say, ye who blush for human nature 
sunk in shame. As a clergyman, Mr. Maurice should have known, that antiquity sanctifies 
nothing: " The sinner, being an hundred years old, shall be accursed." 

What will a sober Christian say to the two following paragraphs, inserted in the fifth volume 

of the Indian Antiquities?! *'Mr. Forbes, of StanmoreHill, in his elegant museum of Indian 

^ rarities, numbers two of the bells that have been used in devotion by the bramhuns. They 

are great curiosities, and one of them in particular appears to be of very high antiquity, in 


form very much resembling the cup of the lotos, and the tune of it is uncommonly soft and me- 
lodioui. I could not avoid being deeply affected with the sound of an instrument which had 
been actually employed to kindle the flame of that superstition, which I have attempted so ex- 
tensively to unfold. My transported thoughts travelled back to the remote period, when the 
bramhnn religion blazed forth in all its splendour in the caverns of Elephanta: I was, for a 
moment, entranced, and caught the ardor of enthusiasm. A tribe of venerable priests, array- 

* Soandc of (riumpb, iibich t^e brambbos use when tbe fire oftbe foDeral pile begins to burn, and whentbey 
are eboakiog a d jiog penoa with ibe water of the Gaogei. These words literally mean, " call upon Httree," or, 
repeat the name of HQrce, viz. Krishofi. In Uieir popular xaCy they are like the £Dgli&h phrase, kusza ! Auzm I 

f While the author cannot hot withhold his assenl from Mr. Maurice's application of the Hindoo triad, and 
the whole of his attempt to illustrate scripture doctrines from the ancient systems of idolatry, he embraces thi^ 
opportunity of expresBiog hii admiration oftbe great merit of Ibis singular and mastcriy work. 

J 2 


cd in flowing stoles, and decorated with high tiaras, seemed assembled around me, th< mystic 
song of initiation vibrated in my ear ; I breathed an air fragrant with the richest perfiimes, and 
contemplated the deity in the fire that symbolized him/' In another place, '' she [the Hindoo 
religion] ** wears the similitude of a beautiful and radiant Cherub from Heaven, bearing 
on his persuasive lips the accents of pardon and peace, and on his silken wings benefaction and 

The sacred scriptures, of which this writer professes to be a teacher, in every part, mark ido* 
latryas the abominable thing which Godhateth. Mr. Maurice calls it a "beautiful 
and radiant cherub from heaven." How this christian minister will reconcile his ideas of ido- 
latry with those of his Great Master in the great day of final account, I must leave; but 
I recommend to him, and to all Europeans who thinV there is not much harm in Hindooism, 
the perusal of the following passages from the word of the true and living God: 

** If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bo* 
som, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying. Let us go and serve 
other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, or thy fathers ; namely, of the gods of the peo- 
pie which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the 
earth, even unto the other end of the earth, thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto 
him ; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him, 
but thou shalt surely kill him ; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and af. 
terwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die : be- 
cause he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of 
the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear and fear, and shall 

do no more any such wickedness as this is among you." JDeut xiii. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. I 

quote this remarkable passage, not because I think the Christian dispensation allows of punish- 
ing idolaters with death, but to shew how marked is the divine abhorrence of thu sin. 

" And I wiU destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcase* 
upont he carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you."— Leviticus xxvi. 30. " Cursed 
be the man that maketh any graven image, any graven or molten image, an abomination unto 
the lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all 
the people shall answer and say, Amen."— Dent, xxvii. 16. « Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, 
the God of Israel, Ye have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon 


all the cities of Judah ; and» behold, this day they are a desolation ; and no man dwelleth there- 
in. Because of their wickedness which they have committed, to provoke me t9 anger» in that 
they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor 
your Others. Howbeit, I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sei^d- 
ing them, saying, O do not. this abominable tiTing that i hate. But they hearken- 
ed not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods. 
^Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth^ and was kindled in the cities of Judah 
and in the streets of Jerusalem ; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day." — Jeremiah 
xLlv. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. " And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" — 2 Con 

VI. 16. " For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, 
when we walked in laciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and mbprni' 
nahle idolatries.'' — 1 Peter iv. 3. ''But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, 
and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their 
part in the lake which bumeth with fire and brimstone : which is the second death/' — Rev. 
XXI. 8. 

Let every conscientious christian fairly weigh these portions of the divine word, and then 
say, whether there be not, according to the spirit of these passages, a great degree of crimi- 
nality attached to the person who in any way countenances idolatry. I am not ashamed to 
confess, that I fear more for the continuance of the British power in India, from the encour- 
agement which Englishmen have given to the idolatry of the Hindoos, than from any other 
quarter whatever. The Governor of the world said to the Israelites, in particular reference 
to idolatry, '''If ye walk contrary to me, I will walk contrary to you." Moses, in the name 
of Jehovah, thus threatens the Jews, if they countenance idolatry — ''I call heaven and earth 
to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto 
ye go over Jordan to possess it : ye shall not prolong your days upon it^ but shall utterly be 
destroyed." It cannot be doubted, that in every case in which either a person, or a nation, 
begins to think favourably of idolatry, it is a mark of departure in heart and practice from 
the living God : it was always so considered among the Jews. There is scarcely any thing in 
Hindooism, when truly known, in which a learned man can delight, or of which a benevoleat 
man can approve ; and I am fully persuaded, that there will soon be but one opinion on the 
subject, and that this opinion will be, that the Hindoo system is less antient than the Egypti- 
an, and that it is the most puebile, impure, and bloody, of aI^y systbm of ido- 


To this description of the Hindoo mythology, the author has added accounts of the princ^ 
pal Hindoo Setfeders, including the sects founded by Booddhn, Rishabbu-devu, Naniiko, and 

All the founders of these sects appeal' to have been religious mendicants, who, animated by 
Excessive enthusiasm, have attempted to carry certain poinds |of the Hindoo system farther 
tlian the regular Hindoos, particularly those which respect severe mortifications. Nanuko 
and Choitunyii were less rigid, and do not seem to have pressed the importance of reUgious 
austerities. Booddhu and Rishubhn-d^vii evidently adhered to the systems of those Hindoo 
philosophers who were atheists."* 

Both these systems are comprised in two or three doctrines: the world is eternal, and pos- 
sesses in itself the energy which gives rise to what we call creation, preservation, and resuscita- 
tion ; religion (Dhurmu) regulates all states, and is in fact what christians call providence, con- 
nected with absolute predestination ; the person who acquires the greatest portion of dhur- 
mu becomes a personification of religion, procures happiness for himself, and deserves the wor- 


ship of others. Amongst all excellent qualities, compassion is the cardinal virtue, especially 
as manifested in a rigid care not to hurt or destroy sentient beings. 

Without abating an atom of our abhorrence and contempt of a scheme of religion which 
excludes a God, it is a singular feature of this system of atheism, that it has placed the scep- 
tre of universal government in an imagined being under the name of Religion, or, to speak 
more correctly, in the hands of two Beings, Religion and Irreligion, who have the power of rcr 
warding and punishing the virtuous and the vicious. In short, these heresiarchs have not pro- 
mulgated a system of atheism without making some provision for the interests of morality, in 
their way ; and if the idea of punishment alone would make men virtuous, a Bouddhu and a 
Joinn might attain a place in the niche of fame not much below thousands who believe in a 
first cause. 

As men are born under a certain destiny, and as every action produces its destined fruit, 

Jittle is left to human exertion, and in consequence religious ceremonies have little place in 

these systems. The only object of worship is a deceased or living perfect ascetic : the former 

• The ShreS-bbagnvat& mentions Booddhaas the son of UoJnnlS, of K^kiittt,and that Chanrvakii (a celebrat- 
ed atheist) embraced and pablished the real opioioos of Booddhu. See Shree-bhag5vttt3» chap. 1, sect. uL 



has tempks erected to his memory, which contain his image, and before which a few ceret 
monies are performed similar to those before the Hindoo idols ; and the living mendicant is 
worshipped by the devout wherever he happens to rest from hfe peregrinations. 

These men have almost entirely excluded from their system a social life, and at present 
those Joinfis who find the rules of their guides too strict, are obliged to solicit the forms of mar- 
riage at the hands of some Hindoo priest. In the translation of the T^mee Jata, a BouddhA 
work» (see p. 409) the reader will perceive, that a monarch and all his subjects abandoned a 
civil life, at the call of the monarch's son, an ascetic, and sought in a forest that abstraction 
from secular concerns, which they considered as an essential preparation for re-union to the 
divine essence. 

The ceremonies of these two sects are all comprised in the worshipping of their saints, re- 
hearsing their praises, listening to their sayings or written works, and a rigid care to avoid the 
destruction of animal life, even in its most diminutive forms. The BouddhOs and Joinns have 
not excluded, it is true, every thing pleasant from their religion, for a number of festivals are 
celebrated among them monthly or annually, but there is reason to suppose, that these are no 
parts of the original system, but the additions of mendicants less rigid in their principles and 
less austere in their manners. 

The Joiniks speak of the Bouddhds with a degree of comtempt, as being very loose in their 
practice, particularly as it regards the destruction of animal life. From this circumstance, and 
from the Join&s being still found in Hindoost*band, as well as from the fact that they trace 
their religion up to a very early Hindoo monarcli, it may be conjectured, that they are the old- 
est of the two sects, and are the scattered remnants of those persecuted under the name of athe- 
ists, after the destruction ofthe Goutoma dynasty, or, as they were then called, Bouddhds. 

Nanukd, the Shikh leader, does not appear to have had any connection with the atheists ; 
he disapproved of the excessive polytheism of the Hindoos, and wished to draw them to the 
worship oC the one God, whom, however, he called by the names usually adopted by the Hin- 
doos: Brumhu, Pjiriim-6shwuru, Unadee, iNirakard, &c. He did not publicly reprobate 
those parts of the Hindoo system to which he was most averse, but contented himself with 
observing, that while he left them indifferent, the practice of them would not be accompanied 
with the benefits held out by the Hindoo writers. He formed, from the bramhinical system, a 


new one, having little j>o1ythe]sm in it, but borrowing all its principal doctrines from the Hin* 
doo writings; and be and his successors incorporated the whole in two volumes. The princi- 
pal tenets of this seceder are! There is one invisible God»*who is to be worshipped or honour- 
ed in holy men ; his name is to be repeated ; the spiritual guide is to be reverenced ; all evil 
avoided ; if images be adopted, they should be those of eminent ascetics. Future happi- 

ness, consisting in union to the divine nature, is secured to those Shikhs who observe the rules 
laid down by their sacred books. 

Choitanyu, the last of these seceders, departed still less from regular Hindoobm : his prin- 
cipal opposition was aimed at the rising sect of the shaktds, or those who worship the female 
deities with bloody sacrifices : he testified his abhorrence of the destruction of animal life in 
sacrifices, and professed to be a rigid Voishnnva, adopting Krishnu, or H&ree, as his favour- 
ite deity. He did not proscribe the other gods, but set up Vbhnoo as uniting all in him- 
self; nor did he explode any tenet of Hindooism beside that relating to bloody sacrifices : a 
devout attachment to Krishnu ; a strict union among all his followers-; reverence for religious 
mendicants ; visiting holy places; repeating the name of Hnree, and entertaining mendicant 
voishnnvns, compose the prime articles in the creed of this sect. 

Such are the systems established by these Hindoo heresiarchs, each of which, though differ- 
ent in many essential points, is distinguished by one remarkable feature, reverence for mendi- 
cant saints, especially those who seem to have carried abstraction of mind, seclusion from the 
world, and religious austerities, to the greatest lengths. Among the atheistical sects, these 
mendicants are regarded as personifications of religion, and among the two last, as partial in- 
carnations, or persons approaching the state of re-union to the Great Spirit 

Respecting the priority of the atheistical or the bramhinical systems, the author has not 
been able entirely to satisfy his own mind : some persons conjecture, that they see a coinci- 
dence betwixt the doctrines of the v6diis, and of the atheistical sects, respecting the origin of 
things, and the worship of the elements. It may be safely added, that to these systems suc- 
ceeded the pouranic mythology, and after that the worship of the female deities with bloody 
sacrifices. Th^ whole of these systems, however, when more generally known, will, no doubt, 
exceedingly endear the 'Word of Truth' to every sincere christian, and more and more prove, 
how deep and important a stake he has in the ** gtbriam gospel of iht BLESSED God.'' 




Of Qoih 

IT is a painful reflection to erery benerolent mind, that not a single Hindoo temple, 
dedicated to the okb Gob, is to be found in all Hindoosi'han ; nor is any act of wor«» 
ship, in any form, addressed by this people to God. The doctrines respectii^g the 
Divine Natoie are considered as mere philosophical speculations, totally unconnected 
with religious services. 

It is true, indeed, that the Hindoos believe in the uniiy of God.^^ ^ One Br&mhS, 
tvithout a second,''is a phrase very commonly used by theni when convening on subt 
jects which relate to the nature of Crod. They believe also that God is almighty, all* 
wise, onmipresent, omniscient, &c. and they frequently speak of him as embracing 
in his government the happiness of the good, and the subjection or punishment of th^ 
bad ; yet they have no idea of God^s performbg any act, either <^ creation or provif 
dence, except through the gods ; and thus are prevented all the beneficial e^ts which 
might have arisen out of their notions of the divine perfections s for in the whole ef 
ihe reigning soperstition the gods alone are seen ; and these gods be«r no move re* 
iendblaace to the one true God, than darkness to light, than vice to virtue* 


Perceiving, therefore, that the speculations of the Hindoo philosophers on the divine 
nature, liave no place whatever in the religion of the country^ I have placed these 
dogmas in the preceding volume* 



Of the gods. 



THE deities in the Hindoo pantheon mnonnt to 330,000,000. Yei ait these godsandgod^ 
desses may be resolved into the three principal ones^ Visknoo^ Shiv&j and Brimha ; the 
elements ; and the three females Door ga^ Mkshmee and Siiriiszcutee. The following pages 
mil contain accounts of all those at present worshipped by the Hindoos^ particularly in the 
wovinces of India under the Stilish government. 


- THISgodisreprescntedinthefonBofablackman, wUh four arms, in one of TfWch 
he holds aclub, in another a shell, in the third a chukrii,* and in the fourth a water-lily,. 
He rides on GuroorB, an animal half-bird and half-man, and wears yellow garments.^ 

.The Hindoo sh^trSs give «xounls often appearances or incarnations of Vishnoo, 
jn the character of the Preserver, nine of which are said to be past. 

. ThefifstiscaUedthcMutsyuincamation. Brumhu,+ the oneGod, when he resolves 
to re-create the universe afteraperiodical destruction, BrstgivesbirthtoBriimha, V«h. 
«oo, and Sliivu, to preside over the work of creation, preservation, and d^trucUon. 
Aft^ a periodical dissoluUon of the univen., the four vMus remained m the waters 
:in order toenter uppn the work of creation, it was necessary t6 obtain t^e- books^o^ 
^heinstruetionofBdimha. Vishnoo was therefore appointed to bnng up the vcd^ 
from the d«.p ; who, taking the form of a fish (sooxe say one kind and some another), 

descended into the waters, and brought up these sacred books, 

4 . » . - ... - 


• • Anironiostrnment of dcsUaction like » wbcel; 
1 1*. it«ler will pl«.e to keep i. nuad tUtBrttmhJ m..n. A. .«« Cod. «d *« BrlSmh. W^P^ fte M vi 

^r tA atma^yitknoo.y OF THS HINDOOS^ ' ' « 

. ^ In the'Kochyopu iacamation Vishnoo assumed the form of a tortoise, and took the 
Mwlj created e«rth upon his back, to render it stable. The Hindoos, believe that 
^ this hour the earth is supported on the back of this tortoise. 

: The Vorahq incarnation happened at one of the periodical desftrnctions of the world^ 


^^hen the earth sunk into the waters. Vishnoo^ the preserver, appearing in the form 

,of a boar, (viirahu) descended iatothe waters,.and^ with his tusks, drew up the earth. 

•Wjiat contmptible ideas on such a subject ! The earth with all its mountains, &c« 

- t&c. made HslsI on the back of a turtle^ or drawn up £cou the deep by the tusks. of i| 

Mgf ' ' 

The fourth incarnation is caHed ]^urn*singhu> Among other descendants of Duk« 
-jiliu, (thefirst man Uvfi Briimha created,) was Kushyupu, a moonee, and his four wives, 
.^ilee,'Uditee, ViDuta,and Kwiroo. From Ditee, sprang the giants i from Uditee,, the 
gods; from Yinuta, Gikoorfi ; and from Kudroo, the hydras. The giants possessed 
amazing strength, and amongst them two arose of terrific powers^ named Hirunyakshii 
and^Hirnnyuokfishipoo, both of whom performed religious austerities many thousand 
years io obtain immortality. Briimha at length gave them a blessing apparently eqoi- 
.valent to that which thej desired. He promised, that no common beingshould destroy 
them ; that they sbouldnot die either in the day or in the night, in earth or in heaven, by 
fire, by water, or by the sword. After this these giants conquered all the kingdoms of 
^the earth, and even dethroned ludru, the king of heaven. Indru, collecting all.the 
gods, went to Bramha, and intreated him to provide some way of deliverance, as the 
universe which he had created was destroyed. Bromha asked the gods, how he could 
destroy those who had obtained his blessing ? and advised them to go to Vishnotf. 
They obeyed, and informed this gpd of the miseries iMrought upon the universe by these 
.giants whom Brfimba harf blessed. Nartiyumi promised to destroy them, which he dli^ 
in the f([Jloi¥ing manner: Hiriinyii-kushipoo^s son Prnlhadii was constantly absent 
from home performing religious austerities, at which his tather became angry, and, 
tying a stone to his body, threw him into the water ; but Vishnoo descended, and li- 
Derated him. His father next threw him under the feet of an eTepIiant, but the ele- 

fhant to^L him up and put him oh its back. He theu built a house of sealing wax, put 

• " '• • • • 

i * from nfirjly ft nan ;' ittd tifigOVif a fioib ' > 

8 HISTORY, Li;rXRATURE, and aELIGION» [P^st m. Cair. I; 

his Mnintott^udflct it m fire ; (he irax melted, and fell upon Pralhaddi bathe leoeir* 
ed no iiijtiiy. The fiiiher next gare him poison, but without effect. At len^b'^ 

wearied of trying to kiQ him, he said, < Where does yoor preserrer Vishnoo dwelll^ 
^ He is etery where/ says Prulhadu. ^ Is he then in this pillar ?* ^ Yes/ said the son* 
^ Then ' said Hiranyu-kushipoo, < I will kill him/ and gare the pfflar a blow witii hit 
sttck-^when Vishnoo, in the form of half-lion half-man, burst from the pillar; iatcl 
holdofRirgnyu-kuriiipoobythe thighs with htateeOi, andtotehimupUiemiMle. 
This was in the erening, im> that it was neither in the day nor in the night. It was doao 
under the droppings of thelhaltch, abont which (he Hindoos hare a profeib, that fliis 
place is out of the earth. He was not killed by a man, bnt by a being hatPHuaii 
h^lf-lion. So that the promise of Brumha to him was not broken. Vuhnoo next de« 
l^troyed Hir&nyakshu. After the death of hb father, Prahadu bq^an to worship Vish^ 
noo under the form which he had assumed, and with fears enquired into the future laie 
of his fathen Tishnoo assured him, that as he had died by his hands, he would surely 
ascend to heaven. Vishnoo was so pleased with the praises which Pralhadfi bestowed o^ 
him, that he began to dance, hanging the entrails of Hiruny&kushipoo round his neck» 
By VL>hnoo*s dancing (he earth began to move out of its place, so that Brumha and 
all the gods were frightened, but durst not go near him. However, at the entreaties 
of Prulhadu, Vishnoo gave over dancing; the earth became fixed, and Vishnoo gave 
Priilhadu this promise, that by his hands none of his race should die. 

The fiOh is the Vamunu incarnation. Priilhadu's grandson Bulee followed the steps 
of his great-grand-father, and committed every kind of violence. In contempt of the 
gods, he made offerings in his own name. He performed the iishwum&iho sacrifice 
one hundred times, by wliich he was entitled to become the king of the gods ; but as 
the time of the then reigning Indru was not expired, the latter applied for lelief to 
Vishnoo, who promised ix> destroy this giant : to accomplish which he caused himself 
to be born of Uditee, the wife of Kiishyupu, the moonee. Being exceedingly small 
in his person, he obtained the name of Vamunu, i. e. the dwarf. At a certain period 
king Bulee was making a great sacrifice, and Vamunii's parents being verj poor^ 
scut him to ask a gift of the king. It is customary, at a festival, to present gifts to 
bramhuns. Vamunii was so small, that in his journey to the place of sacrifice when 
he got to the side of a hole made by it cow's foot| And which was filled with water. 

OrrmooM^Vishnoo.] OF THE HINDOOS. j 

lie thoaght it was a river, and entreated another bramliun to help him over it. On hi$ 
arrival, he went fo ask a gift of Bulee. The king was so pleased with hio)) on account ' 
of his diminutive form, that he promised to give him whatever he should ask. He peti- 
tioned only for as much land as he could measure by three step^. fiidee pressed him 
to ask for more, intimating that such a quantity was nothing ; but Yamnnij persisted, 
and the king ordeted his priest to read the usual formulas in making such a present. 
The priest warned the king, declaring he would repent of making this gift, for the 
tittle bramhun was no other thanVishuoo himself, who would deprive him of all he 
had. The king^ however, was determined to fulfil his promise, and the grant was 
made. Yamunu then placed one foot on Indrifs heaven^ and the other on the earth, 
when, lo ! a third leg suddenly projected from his belly, and he asked for a place 
opon which he might rest this third foot. Bulee having nothing left, and being 
unable to fulfil iris promise, was full of anxiety. His wife having beaid what was 
going forward, came to the spot, and, seeing the king^s perplexity, advised him to 
give his head for Vamunii to set his foot upon. He did so ; but Vamunu then asked for 
what is called dukshinfi, a small present which accompanies a gift, and without 
which the gift itself produces no fruit to the giver. Bnlee knew not what to do for 
^nkshinu : his all was gone« His wife advised him to give his life to Yamiinu as 
dokshinii. He did this also, but the latter told him, ttiat as he had promised PriUhadii 
not to destroy any of his race, he would not take his life. He therefore gave him his 
choice, either of ascending to heaven, taking with him five ignorant persons, or of 
descending to patalu, the world of the hydras, with five wise men.* Bulee chose the 
latter, but said, that as he had done much mischief on earth, he was afraid of going to 
patulu, lest he should there be punished for his crimes. Yamunu told him not to fear, 
as he would, in the form of Yishnoo, become his protector. At the close, this god hav- 
ing restored every thing on earth to a state of order and prosperity, returned to heaven. 

The sixth is the Piirushoo-ramu incarnation. Purfishoo is the name of an instru- 
ment of war. The occasion of this appearance of Yishnoo is thus related : The kshu- 
triyns, from the king to the lowest person of this cast, were become very corrupt. 

* It it a proverb among the Hindoos, that there is no pleasure in the company of the ignorant in anj place or 
circiUDMaiiccs, and that a bad pUce, in the companj of the wise, is better than a good one in that of the ignorant. 



Everyone did as he pleased ; the king was without authority ; all order was destroyed, 
and the earth was in the greatest confusion. In these circumstances the goddess Prit'hi« 
vee* went to Yishnoo, and prayed for relief* Her petition was heard, and one part of 
Yishnoo was incarnate, as the son of Jumudugnee, adescendant ofBhrigoo thesage* 
After twenty -one different defeats the kshutriyus were exterminated by Purushoo-ramn ; 
but after a lapse of years tliey again became numerous : Urjoonu, a kshutriyu king 
with a thousand arms, overcame the greatest monarchs, and made dreadful havock in 
the world ; he beat Kaviinii, and tied him to the heels of a horse ; but Briimhadeliver« 
ed him, and reconciled them again» One evening, in the rainy season, Urjoonu 
being in the forest, took refuge in the hut of Jumudugnee, the learned ascetic. He 
had with him iXX),000 people ; yet Jumudugnee entertained them all. Urjoonu, as- 
tonished, enquired of his people^ how the sage, living in the forest, was able ta 
entertain so many people > They could not tell ; they saw nothing except a cow 
which Brumha had given him ; but it was by her means perhaps that he was able to 
entertain so many guests t its name was Kamu-dh&ioo.t In fact,, when Urjoonu 

was to be entertained at the sage's house^ this cow in a miraculous manner gave him 
all kinds of food, clothes, &c. The king on his departure asked for the cowj 
but the S9ge refused it to him, though he offered for it his whole kingdom. At 

length, Urjoonu made war on Jumudugnee; and though the cowg^tve an army to her 

. \j 
master,, he was unable to cope with Urjoonu, who destroyed both him and his army.. 

After the victory, however, Urjoonu,.could not find the cow, but went homedisappoint- 

ed. PurushoQ-ramu hearing of the defeat and death of his father Jumiidqgnee, went 
to complaintoShivu, on the mountain Koilasu, butcouldnotgetaccessto him till he- 
had knocked down the gods Gun^shii and Kartiku, Shivu*s door-keepers. Shivugave 
Purnshoo-ramii the instrument puriishoo, and promised him the victory. On his re* 
turn Purubhoo-ramu met his mother, who was about to throw herself on the funeralpile 
of her husband. After attending upon this ceremony^ Purusboo*ramu went tathe 

residence of Urjoonij and killed him 4 

* The earth personified^ 

t That ii, ibo cow which yields everj thing desired; 

X This story is told variously in the poorantts : according to the RamaySn5« V&shis'ih& was the owner of tikis com, 
and Vishwttmitrii the person who fought with the mocnee to obtain it. 

OtF Tirc CODS— rtVAjsrdo.] 



These 8lx incarnations are said to have taken place in the suiyu yoogu.^ There 
are no images respecting them made for worship. 

The seventh incarnation is that of Ramu to destroy the giant Kavtinu; for the history 
of Tvhich see the Translation of tlie Table of Contents of the Uamayunu, in the second 
volume. — The eighth incarnation is that of Buluramn, to destroy Prulumbii and otiier 
giants. This latter incarnation is said to have taken place in the dwapuru^yoogu. — The 
ninth is the Booddhu incarnation^ in which Yishnoo appeared as Booddhi% to do« 
Stroy the power of the giants. In order to ctTect this^ Booddhu produced among man- 
kind by his preaching, &c. a disposition to universal scepticism 4 that having no longer 
toy faith in the gods, the giants might <;ease to apply to them for those powers by 
vfhich they had become such dreadful scourges to mankind. In this appearance the 
object of Vishnoo, the preserver, was accomplished by art, without the necessity of 
war: though the dreadful alternative to which he was driven to accomplish his object, 
that of plunging nmninnd into a state of universal scepticism^ affords another proof 
tiow wretchedly the world would be governed if every thing depended on the wisdom 
4>f man. — The tenth incarnation is still expected, under the name of the Kulkee Uvu- 
^i^. 'See translation from the Kulkee poeranii, in the second volume^ 

^hetippearancG of Yislmoo, wTien lie look the name of Krishnu to destroy the gi-^ 
«nt Kungshu, is called the descent of Vishnoo himself, and not an incarnation of this 
gotl. There arr, however, beside the preceding ten incarnations, and this 6f Krish- 
nn, many others mentioned in the pooranns, all having their source in Vishnoo^ 
—The Shree-bhaguvrrtu contains aocounts of the following : Seo-yugnu created 
certain gods, and removed distress from the ihree worlds ; — :Kupilu taught his 
mother the knowledge of Brumhu, by Ivhich she obtained absorption ; — Dixt- * 
tatr^yn delivered all his disciples, by means of the ceremony called yogu, from 
future birth, and obtained for them absorption ; — ^Koormaru declared the events that 
]md -happened in a former age ; that is, previous to ihe dissolution of things which 
preceded his incarnation 5 — ^Naru-Narayunu was such a perfect ascetio that the 

^ These raTages of tyranny, and bloody contests, form a sad specimen of tlie happiness of the Hindoo sQtyft 
fpO€^, coold we belieTe that there erer had been such a period« 

. 12 HISTORY, LITERATURE, km RELIGION, [Pabt ui. Cba». k 

courtezans sent by the gods to allare him from his religious austerities liere unsoccess* 
ful ; Vishnoo himself created a female on purpose to divert him from his devotions^ 
but her attempts were equally abortive ; — ^Prit*hoo opened the bowels of the earthy 
and brought forth its treasures j-^Rbhuvu was an incomparable yogee, who. was wor« 
shipped by the pimun-hiu^us and other ascetics;*— Huy ugreevu was so great a sainl^ 
that the words of the v^u were uttered every time he breathed ; — Huree delivered his 
disciples from all their enemies whether among men or the inferior animals ^— Rungsfr 
taught his disciples the mysteries of yogu^ and obtained absorption himself while per*^ 
forming the ceremonies of a yogee ; — M onoo's fame filled the three worlds, and ascend*. 
ed even as far as Sutyii-lokii ; — Dhunwunturee delivered all diseased persons from theic 
disorders on their inere remembrance of his name^and gave the water of immortality to 
the gods ^— Yyasii arranged the vMos, was the author of the pooranus, &c«-— Y ibhoa 
was the spiritual guide of 80,00Q disciples,, whom he taught the knowledge of BrumhiV 
and the ceremonies of yoga ; — Sutyus^nu cleared the earth of hypocrites and wicked 
persons ; — ^Toikoont*hu created the heaven of Yishnoo. known by this name, and 
performed other wonders ; — ^u]itu instructed the gods to churn the sea^ to obtain tbe^ 
water of immortality, and did other things which distinguished him as an incarnation. 
Mohiinee was incarnate to prevent the giants from obtaining thewaterof immortality 
at the churning of the sea^— NiariidS revealed the work caHed Yoishniivii Tnntrn.-— 
The following incarnations are expected z- Sarvabhoumu to dethrone the present 
]ndn% and instate Buleein his stead ; — ^Yishwiiks^nu as the friend of Shumbhoo, when- 
he becomes the king of heaven ; — Dhnrma-sitootanouri^hthe three worlds ; — Soodha«^ 
ma to assist Roodr&isavnmee^ the twelfth of the fourteen miinoos; — ^Yogfehwuriito 
place^ Divus^putee on the throne of Tndru ; — ^Yrihudbhanoo io make known many 
new religious ceremonies.-^The reader^ however, is not to suppose that there are no- 
other inoumations mentioned in these marvellous books». Every hero^and every saint,. 
h complimented by these writers as aa incarnate deity. 

I have not discovered any proof in the Hindoo writings^ or in conversation with* 
learned natives, that tbete incarnate persons are personifications of any of the divine 
attributes ; or that these stories have any other than a literal meaning. Nodoubt they 
were written as fables,, which the ignorance of modem Hindoos has converted inta 
fificts ; or, many of Ihem may relate to common events- here v^f^ifU^ into 

Ofthb mi»-^Fi«ftiio<».3 OF THE HINDOOS. 13 

Stone uniges of Vishaoo are made for sale, and worshipped in the houses of those 
ffho haye chosen him for their guardian deity. There are no public festivals in honour 
of this god, yet he is worshipped at the o^ering of a burnt sacrifice ; in the form of me* 
ditation used daily by the bramhuns ; at the times when < the five gods* are worship* 
ped| and also at the commencement of each shraddhu. No bloody sacrifices are offered 
to Vishnoo. The offerings presented to him consist of fruit, flowers, water, clarified 
butter, sweetmeats, cloth, ornaments, &c« 

Many choose Vishnoo for their guardian deity. These persons arecalliBd Voishnfivus, 
The distinctive mark of this sect of Hindoos, consists of two lines, rather oval, drawn 
the whole length of the nose, and carried forward in two straight lines across the fore* 
Lead.. This mark is common tatfae worshippers of all the difierent forms of Yishnoo. 
It is generally made with the day of the Ganges ; sometimes with powder of sandet 

Yishnoo has-a thousand names^*^ among which are the following ^— Vishnoo r that 
is,, the being into whom,, at the destruction of the world,, all is absorbed. — ^Narayimu, 
or, he who dwelt in the waters,t and he who dwells in the minds of the devout.—' 
Voikoont*hu, or, the destrogrerof sorrow. — ^Vishturu-shruva, or,.he who,.ln the form of 
Virata, is all eye, all ear, &Cr — Rhisheek^shti^ viz* the^ god of all the members, 
awl of light.— 4Cifohuvii, or, he who gave being to himself,, to Brumha and Shivu ; or, 
he who has eatoeDeiit hair..— Madhuvu,. or^ the husband of Lfikshmee. — Mudhoo-so5» 
dhunu, the destroyer of Hudhoo,. a giant. — Swiimbhoo, or, the self-existent.— 
Doityaree^ or,, the enemy of the giants. — Poondtireekakshu, or, he whose eyes are 
Mke the white lotos.^Govindu, or,, the raiser of the earth .r—ntamvuru, or,, he who 
wears yellow garments.^^Uchyootn, or, the nndecayable. — SharongSe, or, he who 
possesses the horn bow. — ^Vishwiikshfoii,. or,, he whose soldiers fill all quarters of tfae^ 

*TheiDaiiiJBgor(Iie'piinci^iiaaes«fK>me>fUitcfiiti»tob«feBnd in tbe conment vpon the VmBorS-koihft 
bj Bhliitti&.ai&mkft. 

Jupiter had m nanj names, thcj eotid •catftly be nuoibered; some af ibcmderifcd.iroin-tbt places wbere he 
Ivad and was wor^pped, and otbert from the actions be pe^ormed. 

f At the ihM of a prttlft^S, nhco everjF tMog. is redaced to the element of water, TuhDO»iitft«a the make 
f^aftBlft whaA bM 1000 heads. 



trorld.-^unardduiiri, or, he wlio alilicts the wicked, and, he of whom emancipation is 
sought. — Piidmu-nabhu, or, he whose navel is like the water-lily. — Vishwumvuru, or, 
the protector of the world.' — Koitubhojit, or, he who overcame the giant Koitubhii. 


Vishnoo has two wives,* LukshmSe, the goddess of prosperity, and Suruswutee, 
the goddess of learning. The former was produced at the churning of the se^^ Surusr 
wiitee is the daughter of Briimh^^ 

The following description of thctieaveh of Vishnoo is Caketi from the Mubabharlifu^ 
This heaven, called Voikoont'hri,+ is entirely of gold, and is eighty thousand miles in 
circumference. All its edifices are composed of jewels. The pillars of this heaven^ 
and all the ornaments of the buildings, are of precious stones. The chrystal waters 
of the Ganges fall from the higher jjieavens on the head of Droevii, and from thence 
into the bunches of hair on the heads of seven rishees in this heaven, and from thenee . 
they fall and forma river in Voikoont'hi'u Here are also — fine pools of water, con- 
taining blue^ red and W4iite water-lilies, the flowers of some of which contain one 
hundred petals, and others a thousand j gardens of nymphccas, &c* On a seat as glor 
rious as the meridian sun^ sitting oh water-lilies, is Yishnoa, and on his right hand 
the goddess l^ukshmee. From the body of Lukshmee the fragrance of the lotus ex- 
tends 800 miles. This goddess shines like a continued blaze of lightning. The d^- 
vurshees, rajurshees, and supturshees constantly celebrate the praises of Vishnoo and 
Liukshmee, and meditate on their divirte forms. The briimhiirshees chant the v^dus* 
The glorified voishniivus approach Vishnoo, and constantly serve him. The godsj: 
are also frequently employed in celebrating the praises of Vishnoo; apd .Guroorii^ 
the bird-a;od, islhc door-keeper^ 

* One of (he Hindoo poets in answer to the qaestion, Why has Vishnoo asinmed a wooden shape? (allodiDgtotlie 
fmage of Jdgi&nnat*h&), sojs. The troubles in his family have turned Vishnoo into wood : in the first place, he has tw^ 
wtvts. one of whom (the goddess of learning) is constantly talkm^, and the other (the goddess of prosperity) never 
remains in one place : to increase hh troubles, he sits on a snake; bis dwelling is in the water, and be rides on a bird. 
Ail the Hindoos acknowledge that it is a g;reat misfortune kg a maa to have two wives ; especially if both live in ope 

t Tlic work called K6rmtt-Vipakft sayt, that the heavens of Tishnoo, Br&mha, and ShivQ are upon three peaks of tbf 
jpioantain Soom6roo ; and that at the bottom of these peaks ar« the htavens of twenty-one other gods. 

t These gods ajre soppoied to be visitors at Visbnoo>. 

Of the godi — ShioH.'] 





SHiyU> the destroyer, has the second place among the Hindoo deities, though in 
general, in allusLoa to their offices,, these three gods arc classed thus: Brumha, Vish- 
noo, Shiriu 

This god is represented in rarions ways. In the form of meditation used daily by the 
bramhunshe is described as a silver coloured man, with five faces ; an additional eye* 
and a half-moon grace eack forehead ;t he has four arms ; in one hand he holds a 
puriishoo ; in the second a deer ; with the third he is bestowing a blessing, and with 
the fourth he forbids fear ; he sits on alotus,^ and wears a tyger-skin garment. 

At other times Shivu is represented with one head, three eyes, and two arms, riding 
on a bull, covered with ashes, naked, bis eye» inflamed with intoxicating herbs,^ hav* 
ing in one hand a horo^ and in the other a drnnl<> 

Another image of Shiyu is the lingu, a smooth black stone almost in the form of a 
BOgar-loaf, with a promotion at the base like the mouth of a spoon* 

* One of the names of ShiTJi is Tril ochlintt , vis. the three-eyed. One of the names of Jopiter was TrioctUos, 
(Triophthalmos) gWen him bjr the Greeks, because he had three ejes. An image ofthis kind was set up in Troy« 
whtcfa, beside the tisval two eyes, had a third in the forehead. 

t At the chnrning of the sea, Shiv& obtained the moon for his share, and £zed it, vi ith all its glorj, in his forehead. 

i It appears tliat this |)Iant was formerly venerated by the Egyptians as moch as it is now by the Hindoos. The 
sacted images of the Tartars, Japanese, and other nations ere also freqneutly represented as placed upon ft. 

§ Bacchus, who appears to bear a pretty strong resemblnnce to ShIvS, is said td have wandered about naked, or to 
have had no o^ber coyeringthan a tygeT*s«Vin, nhtch is the common garment x>(Sfaivtt, and of his followers, the sQnya- 
sees. The bloated image of Shiv& corresponds with that of Bacchus, and though the Indian god did not intoxicate 
himself with wine, yet bis image is evidently that of a drunkard. Shivfi perpetually smoked intoxicating berts. 

l(j HISTORY, LITERATURE; A^rn RELIGI ON, [Pabt m. Chip, u 

There are several stories in the pooranus respecting the origin of the lingu wor- 
ship, three of which I had translated, and actually inserted in this work, leaving out 
as much as possible of their offensive parts : but in correcting the proofs, they appear- 
ed too gross, even when refined as much as possible, to meet the public eye* It is 
true I have omitted them with some reluctance, because 1 wish that the apologists for 
idolatry should be left without excuse, and that the sincere christian should know what 
those who wish to rob him of the Christian Religion mean to leave in its stead* 

From these abominable stories, temples innumerable have arisen in India, and a 
Shivii Lingu placed in each of them, and worshipped as a oooI ! These temples, 
indeed, in Bengal and many parts of Hindoosfhan, are far more numerous than those 
dedicated \.o any other idol ; and the number of the daily worshippers of this scanda- 
lous image, (even among the Hindoo women,) who make the image with the clay of the 
Ganges every morning and evening, b beyond comparison far greater than the wor« 
shippers of all the other gods put together. 

The account of the origin of the phalli of the Greeks bears a strong and nnaccoanf- 
able resemblance to some parts of the pouranic aQCounts of the lingu: Bacchus was 
angry with the Athenians, because they despised bis solemnities, when they were first 
brought by Pegasus out of Boetia into Attica, for which he afflicted them with a 
grievous disease that could have no cure till by the advice of the oracles they paid 
due reverence to the god, and erected phalli to his honour ; whence the feasts and 
sacrifices called Phallica were yearly celebrated among the Athenians. — The story 
of Priapus is too indecent, and too well known, \o need recital. Should the reader 
wish for farther information on this subject, he is referred to an extract from Diodorus 
Siculus, as given in the Reverend Mr. Maurice^s second volume of Indian Antiquities* 
The perusal of this extract may help further \xi convince the reader that the old 
idolatry, and that of the present race of Hindoos, at least in their abominable nature, 
and in some of their prominent features, — are one. 

Beside the clay image of Uie lingu, there are two kinds of black stone lingus : these 

Of THE Gons— iS'Mrt^O OF THE HINDOOS^ 17 

are set np in the II indoo temples.* Thefir^t is c»Ued svrijumbho^^ (the self-esisteat)^ or 
iiaadee,t that which lias no besuuise. Tie jeoond they call vani^lin^i^ because 
Vanfi, a king, first instituted the worship erf this image. Thesestones are brought from 
the aeighbooihood of the river tjundhiikie, whidi feUs into the <Sai]«C8 nearPatoa. 
The images are made by Hindoo and Muriilman stone^cutten* 

There is another form in which Sbivii is worshipped, caIIed.Miiba«kalu. This is the 
image of a 8nioheH[:6loured boy with three ^ycB^ clothed in red.garments. Bis Jiair 
stands erect ; his teeth are yery large; he wears a neckhce of human sLalls, and a 
large turban of his own hair; in one hand he holds a stick, and in the other the foot 
of a bedstead ; he has a laige belly, and .makes a very terrific appearance. Shiv^ is 
<;alled Mtta^kalu, because he destroys all.; by which the Hindoos .meaq> that all iy 
absorbed in him ailast, in order to be mproduced.j: 

Images of this form of Sbivu are not made In Bengal, but a pan of water, or aa 
unadee-lingD, is substitnted^ before ^hich bloody sacrifii^as areofferedy and other 
ceremonies performed, in the month Choitru, at the newvioon* Only a fewpersoi|S 
perform this worship* Except before this image, bloody sacrifices are never offered 
to'Shivuy who is himself called a voishnuvu^ i. e. a worshipperofVishnoo, before fduose 
image no animals are slain, and whcMie disciples profess never to eat animaL-food* 

. Under different nw^es other images of Shivu are described in the ahastrSs, but none 
ifif these images are made at present, nor is any public worship offered to them. 

Those who receive the nameof Sbivu from their spiritual guides^ are called Solvyiis. 
The mark on the forehead which these persons wear^ is comppsed of three curved lines 

* It is remarliaUe, Uiat « iti»e imtgr, consecrated to Vciras, bore « Mropg nti mblance to ibe lingfi. Of this 
stone it is said* tlint it was *• from the top to the boltcm of an orbicular figure, a little bread Lcncatb ', the citcum- 
feKDce was small, and sharpening toward the top like a tugar-loaf. The reason unknown." 

t At the time of a great droaght, tlie ll'didoos after perfoming its worship, throw ^ery large ^^oantities of wa- 
ter upon this Coadee-Iingfii in order to induce Shl?5 to give them rain. 

iSMTCsay Sat«ni<receivcd bbname kecauae faewasntisfied wichthCTear^hodevcnied* Satnoi^af 

•lac represented aa devowiog his chddren and Tomitibg them op again. 



like a half •moon, to which is added a round dot on thejioie. 1 1 ia made either with 
the clay of the Ganges, or with sandal wood, or the ashes of cownlung* 

Worship is performed dail j at the temples of the LingTi ; when oflbrings of varioos 
kinds are presented to this image. If the temple belong to a shoodru, a bramhiin is em« 
ployed, who receives a small annual gratuity, and the daily offerings.* These ceremo« 
nies occupy a few minutes, or half an hour^ at the pleasure of the worshipper. Blany 
persons living in Bengal employ bramhuns at Benares to perform the wor)diip of the 
lingu in temples which they have built there. 

Every year, in the month Phalgoonu, the Hindoos make the image of Shivu, and 
worship it for one day, throwing the image the next day into the water. This wor« 
ship is performed in the night, and is accompanied with singing, dancing, music^ feast* 
ing, &c. The image worshipped is either that of Shivu with five feces, or that with 
one face. In the month Maghii also a festival in honour of Shivn is held for one day, 
when the image of this god sitting on a bull, with Pbrvutee on his knee, is worshipped* 
This form of Shivu is called Huni-Gouree. t 


In the month Choitru an abominable festival in honour of this god is celebrated; 
when many Hindoos assumingthe name of sunyasees, inflict on them^selves the greatest 
cruelties. Some of the chief sunyasees purify themselves for a month previously to these 
ceremonies, by going to some celebrated temple or image of Shi vi, and there eating on* 
ly once a day ^ abstaining from certain gratifications, repeating the name of Shivu, danc- 
ing before his image, &c. Other sunyasees perform these preparatory ceremonies for 
fifteen and others for only ten days ; during which time parties of men and boys 
dance in the streets, having their bodies covered with ashes, &c. and a long piece of 
false hair mixed with mud wrapped round the head like a turban. A large drum 
accompanies each party ^ making a horrid din. 

On the first day of the festival^ these sunyasees cast themselves from a bamboo stage 

* The tbtttrtls prohibit the bnimh&ns from receiving the offeringt presented to SbiT& : the reason I have not dis- 
covered. The bramhftni, howerrer, contrive to explain the words of the shAstril ia sucli a auintr, as to secure the 
greater part of the things presented to this IdoL 

t H&r&ifl the name of ShiTttaand Gooree that of Dooigab 

OrTro<Jox»-^5fe«a-3 OP THE HINDOOS. 19 

vitb Ikree resting places, the highest about twenty feet from the ground. From this 
iieight these persons cast themselves on iron spikes stuck in bags of straw. These spikes 
*are laid in a reclining posture, and when the person falls they almost constantly fall 
downinstead of entering his body. There are instances however of persons being kil- 
led, and others wounded, but they are very rare. A few years ago, a person at Kidur* 
poora, near Calcutta, cast himself on a knife used in cleaning fish, which entered his 
side, and was the cause of his death. He threw himself from the stage twice on the 
rnrae day, the second time, < which was fatal) to g|:atify a prostitute with whom he liv- 
ed. — In some villages, several of these stages are erected, and as many as two or throe 
hundred people cast themselves on these spikes, in one day, in the presence of great 
crowds of people. The worshippers of Shivu make a great boast of the power of 
Iheir god in preserving -his followers in circumstances of siich danger^ 

The next day is spent in idleness, ihe simyasSes lying about Shivu's temple, and 
wandering about like persons half drunk, or jaded with revelling. On the following 
day, a large fire is kindled opposite Shivii's temple, and when the burnt wood has been 
formed into a great heap, one of the chief sunyasees, with a bunch of canes in his hand, 
tfattens the heap a little, and walks over it with his feet bare. After him, the other 
sfinyaaees spread the fire about, walk across it, dance upon it, and then cast the 
lanbers into the air and at each other. 

The next morning early the work of piercing tiie tongues and sides comsnences « 
in the year 1806 1 went to Kalee-ghatu, in company with two or three friends, to wit* 
ness these practices ^ at which place we arrived about five o'clock in the morning* 
We overtook numerous companies who were proceeding thither, haying with them 
drums and other instruments of music, also spits, canes, ^fid different articles to 
pierce their tongues and sides. Some with tinkling rings on tlieir ancles were danc« 
ing and exhibiting indecent gestures as they passed along, while others rent the air 
"with the sounds of their filthy songs. As we enl^ed the village where the temple 
i>f this great goddess is situated, the crowds were so great that we could with diffi* 
culty get our vehicles along, and at last were completely blocked up. We then 
lighted, and went amongst the crowd. But who can describe a scene like this ?-«• 



Here, iBten of all ages, \f bo intended to hare their tongues pieroed| or tiieir Mm 
bored, were ba3ring garlands of flowers to hang round their necbi or tie round ttulr 
Beads -^faere, others were carrying their oflferlngs to the goddess; aborothe heads of 
the crowd were seen nothing but the feathers belonging to the great dnmit^ and tk» 
instruments of torture which each yictim was carrying in his hand. These wretched 
Jdares of superstition were distingnisbed from othen by the quantity of <mI rubbed 
on their bodies^ and by streaks and dots of mud all orer them ; some of the chief 
men belonging to each company were covered with ashes, or dressed in a most fa»> 
t^lo mafifii^r, like the fool among mountdianlis. For the sake of low sport, some 
fmft dressed as English women, and others had on a hat to excite the crowd to laugh 
at Europeans* As soon as we could force our ifay^ we proceeded to the temple of 
Kalee, where the crowd, inflamed to madness, almost trampled upon one another, to 
obtain a sight of the idoL We went up to the door-way, when a bramhiin, who was 
•ne of tiie owners of the idol, addressed one of my compaaioas in broken English t 
^^ Money-^HOioney-^for Uaek mother/* My frieudy not much Uking the looks of his 
Mack mother, declared he should giro her nothing* Fcom this spot we went into the 
teuipl#-y ard, where two or three blacksmiths had began the work of fnerciag the 
tongues aod boring the ^des of these inthtualcd disciples ef Shim The first maa 
tlfteniid rtluctaul to hold out his toogue, but tlie blaoksmith, rulkbfaq; it with sone* 
thing like flour, and having a piece of cloth betwixt Us fingers^ Lid firm hold^ 
dragged it out, and, placing his lancet under it in the middle^ pierced it through^ 
^ftiMl let the fellow gow The next peTsoo whole tongue ^ saw eut^ directed the 
'Madffifldith to out it on a contrary side, as it had been already cut twioe. * This maa 
Mftmed to go through Uie basiuess of having his toogue sfit with perfect Hmgfr0idk 
yhe company of natives were entirely unmoved, aiud the Mncksmith, pochetis^ 
Mie trifltng fee i^iven by each for whom he did this favour, laughed at the sport» 
i ^mM net h^p osktog, whether they wens not punishing these tMu for If ii«.«^ 
After seeing tbe operation performed onone or two usore, we weOt4o auotherywoup^ 
"Where they w«re boring the sides. The first we saw undergoiQg this-opendieft' waea 
boy vAno might be twdve or thirteen years old, and wbe had been brought tfakher 
%y hh elder brother to submit to <Us cruelty. A thre id robbed witb cUrifisd butter 
was draw4i thnMgh the skin on each side with a bind of lancet havii^ an e^ Ue^ e 
needle. He did not flinch, but hung by his bauds over the shoulders of his brother* 

P0n8MM^^«9a.l OF THE HINDOOS. $1 

i aikud a ram ivho had JH&t had hU tides l^eredt. vhjr he did this 2 He said he had 
iMde a vow to Kalee at a tioiQ of daogeraus iUoess^ aad wast now performing; thii 
vav. A kfyMftaader added,, it was an act of holiness, or merit. Passing from thif 
H^wp, w^ saw a man daaciag backwards and fprwards with two canes rua through 
his sides as thick as a man's little finger. In returning; to.C:;lcuita we saw manjF with 
things of different. thicknesses thrust through their sides and tongues, and several 
,wtth the pointed handles of iron shovels, containing fire, sticking la tbf^ir elides. 
I«to this fire every now and then they threw Indian pitch, which for the i|iament 
Uased verj high. I saw one man whose singular mode of self- tort are &trqc|^ ^ 
mach } hi« breast, arms, and other parts of his body, were entirdy covered with pinst 
$$ thick as nails or packing needles. This is called vanu-phora.* The person lia4 
made a vow to Shivu tibus to pierce his body, praying the god to if^ve 9JSUXk^ €-v4 


from bioit 

Some «iiiiya«3$fl at this feitival pat swords through the holes in their tpqguet^ 
athfln ep^arc, others thiek pieces of round iron, which they call arrows. Miay, as a 
bwradeiy putother things throiigh their tongues, as living snakes, bamboos,, 
tee. Othmt to oncitoi theatton^oa of the crowd still more, procure images of houses, 
g^dfi, 4eittpleii, fco. and plachig them on a single bamboo, hold them typ in their han^s, 
aad put the bamboo through thi^ir toagues. In 1805^ at Calcutta, a few base fellows 
made ahaoifaoo stage, placed apro^titute up^n if, and qarriqd her through the streets, 
her paramour aeoompanytng them, having one of her anck ornamenti in the slit of 
hia tongue. Another year a man put his finger through the tongue of pAOther 

ycnon, and they went along dancing and making indecent gestures together. Others 
pal bamboos, ropes, canes, the stolk of a climbing plants the l^g tube of thehoo- 
fci, Ac. throvgh their sides, and rubbing these things with oil, while two persons go b^ 
foreand two b^iad to hold the ends of the tilings which have been passed through the 
wles, &ef dance bickward» aad for wardi;, making indecent gestures. These people 
fNMthAHi^ Ae tftreete with these marks of seU-torture upon them, followed by crowds 
«PidlefMople. They aie paid by the towns or villages where these acto are performed, 
asdaler^is made on the inhabttantsto defray the expense. On the evening of this 

* Fiicrciog with arrowj. 


day some ^nyasees pierce lhe«kia of their foreheads, and place a rod of iron In it 
a socket, and on this rod fasten a lamp, which is kept burning all night. The persons 
bearing these lamps sit all night in or near Shiyii's temple, occasionally calling upon 
this god by different names. On the same erening^ di&rent parties of snnyasees hold 
conversations respecting Shiyii in verse. 

On the following day, in the afternoon, the ceremony called Churiikn, or the swings 
>iiS by hooks fastened in the back, is performed. The postsareerected in some open place 
in the town or suburbs. They are generally fifteen, twenty ^ or twenty -five cubits high, 
in seme places a kind of worship is paid at the foot of the tree to Shtvfl, when two pi* 
geons are let loose, or slain. In other parts, i. e. in^the neighbourhood of Calcuttai 
the worship of Shiva is performed at his temple, after which the crowd proceed to the 
swinging posts, and commence the horrid work of torture. The man who is to swing 
prostrates himself before the tree, and a person^ with his dusty fingers, makes a mark 
^here the hooks are to i>e put. Another person immediately gives him a smart arlapon 
(he back, and pinches upthe skin hard with bis thumb and fingers ; while another thrusts 
the hook through, taking hoid of about an inch of the skin-; the other hook is then 
in I ike manner put thro ugh the skin of the other side of the back , and the man gets up 
on his feet. As he is rising, some water is thrown in his face, tie then mounts on a 
man^s back, or Is elevated in some other way, and the strings which are attached to 
the hooks in his back are tied to the rope atone end of the horizontal *bamboo, and 
the rope at the other end is held by several men^ who, drawing it d«wn, raise up the 
end on which the man swings, and by their running round with the rope the machine 
is turned. In swinging, the man desicribes a circle of about thirty feet diameter. Some 
swing only a few minutes, others half an hour o/ more. liiave heard of men who 
continued swinging for hours. In the southern parts of Bengal a piece of clpth 
is wrapt round the body underneath the hooks, lest the flesh should tear and tb? 
wretch fall and he dashed to ^pieces, *but (he whole weight of the body rests on the 
hooks. Some of these persons take the wooden pipe, and smoak while Jwinging, as 
ihough insensible of the least pain. Others take up fruit in their hands^ and either 
^eat it or throw it among the cro.wd, } have heard of a persfon's having a monkfy ',i 
collar run into his binder parts,* in which state the man and the monkey whiile(| 


* dt KidQrpooi^ 



together. On one dccasion, in the north of Bengal, a man took a large piece ol 
Wood in his mouthy and swung for a considerable time without any cloth round bis 
body to preterre him should the flesh of his back tear. On some occasions these sun« 
yasees haye hooks Tun through their thighs as well as backs. About the year 1800 
fiye women swung in this manner, with hooks through their backs and thighs, at Ki« 
dnrpoont near Calcutta. It is not very uncommon for the flesh to tear, and the person 
to fall : instances are related of such pa:sons perishing on the spot. A few years ago 
a man fell from the post at Kidiirpooru, while whirling round with great rapidity ; 
and, falling on a poor woman who was selling parched rice, killed her on the spot : 
the man died the next day. At a Tillage near Bujbuj, some years since, the swing fell, 
and broke a man's leg. The man who was upon it, as soon as he was loosed ran to 
another tree, was drawn up, and whirled round again, as though nothing had hap« 
pened. I haTe heard of one man's swinging three times in one day on different trees 2 
and a biamhun assured me, that he had seen four men swing on one tree ; while swinj^- 
ing, this tree was carried roond the field by the crowd. 

On the day of swigning, in some places^ a sunyasee is laid before the temple of 
Shivu as dead, and is afterwards carried to the place where they burn the dead. Here 
they read many incantations and perform certain ceremonies, after wl^ch the (sup^ 
posed) dead siinyasgg^ arises, when they dance around him^ proclaiming the nam^ of 

The next morning the sunyttsEes go to Shiyii*s temple, and perform worship to htm, 
when they take off the poita which they had worn during the festiral, On this day^ 
they beg, or take from their houses, a quantity of rtce^ and other things, which they 
make into a kind of frumenty, in the place where they bum the dead. These things 
(hey offer, with some burnt fish, to departed ghosts. 

Each day of the festival the siinyaseSs worship the sun^ jMmring water, flowers^ &c. 
on a clay image of the alligator, repeating muntrus. 

These horrid ceremonies are said to dciive their origin from a king named Yanu^ 


vrbose history is related iu the Mahabharotu, Tliis work says, that Vanii, in tha 
month CboKru, instituted these rites, and inflicted a number of the cruelties he«ede« 
tailed on his own body, viz. he mounted the swing, pierced his tongue and sides, 
danced on fire, threw himself op spikes, &g. At length he obtained an interview with 
Shivfi, wlio surrounded his palace with a wall of fire, and promised to appear when* 
ever he should stand in iiced of his assistance. Those who perform these ceremonies 
at present, expect tha^tShivii will bestow opon them some blessing either in this lifo 
or in the next. 

Doorga is the wife of ShivB. This goddess is known under other ^names, as BhugiW 
Tufee, Sutee, Parvutee, ftc. In one age Shivu was married to Sutee, the daughter of 
king Dukshn, and in another to the same goddess nnder the name of Parvutee> the 
daughter of the mountain Ilimairiyu ; hen6e she is the mountain-goddess* 

When Doorga was performing religious austerities to obtain Shira in marriage, the 
latter was so moved that he appeared to her, and enquired why she was thus employ^t 
ed ? She ynts ashamed to assign tlie reason, <but her attendants replied for her* He, 
in jest, reproved her, observing that people performed religious austerities to obtain 
Something valuable ; in thearticle of marriage they desired U'personof agoodfamily^ 
but he (Slitvu) ImkI neither father nor mother ; — or a rich person, but he had not. a 
garment to wear ; — or a handsome person, but he had three eyes. 

When Shivii Iras about to be mariied to Parvutee^ her nuitiierasid the neighbours 
treated the god in a- very scurrilous manner : the neighbours cried out, ^<Ah! ah! 
ah ! This image of gold, this most beautiful damsel, the greatest beauty in the three 
worlds, to begi ven in marriage to sucha fellow — an old fellow with three eyes ; without 
teeth ; clothed in a tyger's skin ; covered with ashes ; incirckd withsadsea; wjcaring 
a necklace of himian bones ; with a human skull in his hand ; with a filthy juta (viz. I 

a bunch of hair tike a turban), twisted round his head ; who chews intexicatingdrugs ; 
has inflamed eyes i rides naked on a bull^ and wanders about like a madman. Ah I 

Of TOT O0D3— SAit?l] OF THE HINDOOS. 25 

thej have thrown this beautiful daughter into die river !''*--Tn this manner the nei^h* 
bours exclaimed against the marriage, till Narudu, who had excited the dtstarbance^ 
interfered, and the wedding was concluded. 

A number of stories are related in some ofthe Hindoo books of an inferior order, res« 
pecting the quarrels of Shiyu and Parviitee, occasioned by the revels of the former, and 
the jealousy ofthe latter. These quarrels resemble those of Jupiter and Juno. Other 
stories are told of Shivu's descending to the earth in the form of a mendicant, for the 
preservation of some one in distress ; to perform religious austerities, &c. 

Shiva is said, in the pooranfis, to have destroyed Kundurpii (Cnpid) for interrupt- 
ing him in his devotions, previous to his union with Doorga. We find, however, 
the god of love restored to existence, after a lapse of ages, under the name of Priid-k 
yoomnfi, when he again obtained his wife Rutee. After his marriage with the moun- 
tain goddess, Shivu on a certain occasion offended his faUier«>in<*law, king Dukshu, by 
refusing to bow to him as he entered the circle in which the king . was sitting. To be 
revenged, Dukshu refused to invite Shivii to a sacrifice which he was about to perform. 
Suteg, the king^s daughter, however, was resolved to go, though uninvited and forbid- . 
den by her husband. On her arrival Dukshu poured a torrent of abuse on Shivii, which 
affected Sotee so much that she died.t When Shivu heard ofthe loss of his beloved 
wife, he created a monstrous giant, whom he commanded to go and destroy Dukshu, 
and put an end to his sacrifice. He speedily accomplished this work, by cutting off 
the head of the king, and dispersing all the guests. The gods, in compassion to Duk- 
sh^ placed on his decapitated body the head of a goat, and restored him to his fami« 
ly and kingdom. 

This god has a thousand names, among ivhich are the following : Shivu, or, the be- 

* In ftlliinon to the throwing of dead bodies h)lo the river. This resembles the surprise said to have been ex- 
died bj the BartiajEe of Venns to the filthy and deformed Vulcan. Another ver> singular coiticidtnce betwixt the 
Boropean idolatry and that of ihe Hindoos is fumbbed by the st»ry of Vnlcan and M.nervaand that rcspeciingS iy& 
and MobineS as given iu the MarkHnd^yil poorantt; bot #I»ich 1 have wjipresved on account of its offensive nature. 

t In lefercncc to thU mark of stcong atUchaedt, a Hindoo iridow buiaing with her husband on the funeral pile 
ia called Sbtee. 



nefactor. Muhfehwiira, the great god.* Eeshwuru, the glorioos gpd. Cbuadrti* 
sh^kurU) he whose forehead is adorned with a half-mooa. Bhddt^shu, he who is lord 
ofthebhootus.t Mrirn, he who purifies* Mritjoonjuyo^ he who conquers death. 
Krittivasa, he who wears a skin. Oogru, the furious. Shree-kuntu, he whose 

throat is beautiful.j: Kupalubhrit, he whose ahns' dish is a skull.§ Smurii-huru, the 
destix>jerof thegodoflove. Tripooraixtuku, he who destroj^ed Tripoorii an usooru. 
Gungadhuru, he who caught the goddess Gunga in his hair.|| Vrishu-dwuju, he whose 
^ndard is a bull.* Shoolee^ he who wields the trident. f Sfhanoo, the everlasting. 
Shurvu, he who is everj thing. Gireeshu^ lord of the hills^ ho who dwells on the 



The following account of the heaven of Shivu is translated from tbe work called 
' Krity u-tiitwu* This heaven^ which is situated on mount Koilasu, and called Shivu- 
pooru, is ornamented with maay kinds of gems and precious things, as pearls, coral^ 

* The pftndits give proofs from the sbastrus, in which Shiv u is acknuwledged lo be the greatest of the gods, or Mli^ 
ba-d6vS : from Miiha, great, and, divQ^ god. 

tBho5ttts are beiug» partly in horaan shape^ though some of them have the faces of horses, otliers of camels, 
ethers of monkeys, &c. Some have the bodies of horses, aud the faces of m?n. Some have one leg and some twa» 
Some have only one ear, and others only one eye. ShiviS isattended by a ourober oCthcae bLootQs, as Baccbos hada 
body of guards cons'stiag of drunken satjrs, demons, nymph%.&c. 

X After Shivll, to preserve the earth from destruction, had drank the poison which arose out of the sea, when 
the gods churned ic to obtain the water of immortdlity, he fell into a swoon, and appeared to be at the point of death. 
A!)the gods were exceedingly alarmed ; the ttsoorCLs were filled with trtnmph, nndcr the expectation that one of ike 
gods, («ven.Sbivfi himselO'^u abont to eipire. The gods addressed Doorga,who took Shivtl in her arms, and began 
to repeat certain incantations to destroy the eflftcts of the poison : Shiv& revived. This was the first time incanta- 
lions were used to destroy the power of poison. Though the poison did not destroy Sbivd^ it left a bltte Bvk on 
bis throat; and hence one of his names is Neel&-k&nt&, the blne-throatedL 

% This is Brhmha's skull. Shivil in a qnarrel cot off one of Brilmha's five heads, and made an alms* dish of it* « 
' Brfimha and otbergods, in the character of mendicants^re represented with an earthen, pot in the hand, which 
contains their food. This pot i» called a L&m&nd&Ioo. 

I In G&nga*8 descent from heaven, Shivft-caoght her in the bonch of hair tied «t the baok of hit bead. 

• Shlv&'s conduct, on ihe day of his marriage with Parv&tee pots us in mind of Priapus. The Indian god TOdc 
(broogh KamH-roopb on a bull,. naked, with the bride on his knee. 

t Here ShivS appears with Neptone^s sceptre^ tboush I cannot find thai he rescmbies the watery god in any 
thing else. 

Of tub gods— -5^iv{2.] 


gold, silver, &c Here reside gods, danuvas,> gundhurrus,^ ijp^iffi,^ siddhus,^ cha« 

runfis,^ briiinhurshees,^ d6vurshees,^ and muhurshees, ;^ ako other sftges, as Sunatijad^i 
BuaQtkoomaTu, Sunundu, Ugusfyu, Ungira, Poolustyu, Pooluhu, Chitru, Angijriba^ 
Goutumu, Bhrigoo, Purashuru, Bhurudwaju, Mrikimdu, Markund^yu, Shoonushephu^ 
Uslitaviikri], Dhoumyii, Yalmeekee, Yushtsht'hu, Doorvasa, &c. These persons con** 
stantly perform the worship of Shiru and Doorga, and the iipsuras are continuallj em* 

ployed in singing, dancing, and other festivities. The:flowers -of every season are 

always in bloom here? among which are^ the yoothee,^ jatee,i<'mullika9i^ malotee)^^ 
dorfi,*^ tfigiiru,^* kurnvSeru,'^ kiilharii,^^ kurnikaru,^^ k&hunV® poonnagu^'^ drona,^ 
gundhiirajuyC' sh^phalika,^ chumprikn,^' bhoSnaee-chumpuku,** nagu-k&hurij,*s> 
moochiikoondti,^ kanchiinn,^ jHoolee,*^ jhihtee,*^ neelu-jhintee,'<> ruktu-jhintee,^^ 
kudumbu,^* rajuneegundha,-^'^ tiirku,'* tuK)oiuta,35 parijatii,^ &c. Sec. Cool, odorl* 
ferous and gentle winds always blow on these flowers, and diffuse thek fragrance all 
over the mountain. The shade produced by the parijatu tree is very cooling. This 
mountain also produces the following trees and fruits: shala,'^ talii,^ tiimalu^^s hin* 
talu,40 iuij55rii^« amruy^Jjrunveeruj'^^ goovakil,^^ punusii,*^ shreephulu,^ draksha,^ 
!sigoodee,4B vutu,^^ rishwiifhu,*> kupitl'hu,5i &c. A variety of birds are constantly 
singing here, and repeating the names of Doorga and Shivu, viz. the kaku/^ shooku,^ 
paraviita,^ tittiree,^ chaliikii^56 chasfi,^ bhasii,^ kSkilu,^^ sarasu,^ datyoohii,^* chu- 
luruvakii^^' &c. &c* The waters of the heavenly Ganges (Mundakinee) glide akMi^ 

• 1 A particuHir kind of giants. 2 The heavenly choirlvters. ' 3 Dancers and ooortesans. 4, 5 Godf 
^ho act as servants to some of the other gods. 6 Sacred sages.' 7 Divine sages. 8 Great sages, 

9 Jasmiuam aaricdatum. 10 J. graudiflornm. 11 J. zambae. It Gsrtnera racemosa. ]'3 Unknown, 

tt Tabernemontana coronaria. 15 Neriam odorana. 16 Nyniphaea cyanea. 17 FterospermmD 

acerifollnm. l8 Mimnsupseleogi. 19 Rottleratinctoria. SO Pblomis ceylanica. 81 Gardenia florida. 

fSNyctanthesarbortristis. S3 Michelta champaca. 2i Kempferia rotunda. S5 Mesua ferrea. 

f6 Pierospermum suberifoKa. 27 Banbinia (several species.) SB lioiiiD trigymim. « 29 Barleria cristata. 

30 Barieria cserolea. St Barleria ciliata. 3? Nauclea orientalis. S3 The tuberose. 34.£schy 

AotaieBCsesban. ^ Ipomea quamoclit 36 Phvniz pakdosa. 37 Pboeniz sylvestria. 

SQ Eryihrina fulgens. 59 Sborea robusta. 40 Borassus flabeliiformia. 41 Diospyrus cordi folia. 

4f Matogifera Tndica. 43 Tbe citron or lime tree. 4* Areca catechu. 45 Artocarpusintegrifolia. 

116 iEgle marmelos. 47 The grape vine. 4 8 Unknown. 49 Ficus Indtca. SO Picas religiosa. 

51 Ferooia e)epbantiom. Si Tlie crow. 53 The parrot. 54 The pigeon. 55 Tbe partridge. 

56 The sparrow. 57 Coracia^ Indica. 58 Unknown. S9 Tbe Indian cuckow. 60 The Siberiau crane* 
^iTbegaUinuie. 6S Anas casarca. 



lii purling streams. The six seasons are uninterruptedly enjoyed on this mbuntaia, yiz« 
vusuntii (spring), greeshmu (summer)^ vursha (rainy), shfirut (sultry), shishiru (dewy)^ 
and sbeetii (cold). On a golden throne^ adorned if ith jewels^ sit SImvq and Ooorga^ 
engaged in conversation. 


The Shree-bfaagnyutu contains another description of the heayen of Shivii t Six* 
teen thousand miles from the earthy on mount Koilasn,* resides this gody in a palace- 
of goldy adorned with jewels of all kinds. This palace is surrounded with forests,, gar* 
dens, canaU^ trees laden with all kinds of fruit, flowers of eyery fragrance^ The kul* 
pa tree also grows here^ from which a person may obtain eyery kind of food and all 
other things he may desire. In the centre of a roodrakshuf- forest,, under a tree, Shiyu 
frequently sits with his wife Pdfyutee. The fragrance of the parijata flowers extends 
SOO miles in all directions ; and all the seasons are here enjoyed at the same time. The 
winds blow softly, filled with the most refreshing odours. At the extremities of thi» 
heaven southwards and northwards Shivii has fixed two gates^one of which is kept by 
Nundee, the other by Muha-kalfi. A nun^ber of gods and other celestial beings con« 
stantly reside bere^ among whom are Kartiklyu and Grun^shj;,. the sons of Shivii ; also 
the female servants of Doorga^ JTiya and Tijiiya^ eight nayikas^ and sixty«fottr yo* 
ginees, with bhootiis,. pishachus, Shiviils bull> and those disc<ples of Shivi] fshaktiis) 
who haye obtained beatitude. The time is spent heie in Ae festiyities and abomina« 
. tions of the other heayens* 

* Soninn daring hit (ravels in Grf fee and Tarkey, mtde a jovrnc; into aDttent MhoeiTonra, and paida tniI to 
noQiit Olympns, Ibe abode of the goda. It was the middle of July when Ibis eacaruon waa made., and allhoogh 
the heot was extreme towards the bave of the rooontain, as well as io the plaio^Tast luasjies of mow rendered ihA 
f nmmit inacceasible. ••Itianot aslonisbin;?/ says Sonini," that the Oreeka bate (tlacfd the abode. of Ibe godson 
•n eminence which mortals cannot reach * The monks of the cenvent'* wbo have socceedcd them in this great 
cieTatlon," confirmed what has been sometimes disced* the perpctaal permanence of ice and snow on the top of 
the raonnlain. With the exception of chamois and a few bears^ there are hardij any qvadnipedi to be seen beyond 
the half of the height of Olympus. Birds iJso scarcely pass this limit* 

i Eleocarpns ganilms. i 

Of the gom^— BruffiAo.^ 





AS las been dreadj mentioned^ Brumha^ Yishnoo and Sbira derived tlieir ezisU 
enee from the one BramhiL The Hindoo pundits do not admit these to be creatures^ 
but contend that thejF are emanations from, or parts of, the one Brumbu. 

Brumhafirst produced the waters^'then the earth, nexff'from bis own mind, he caus- 
ed a number of sages and four females to be born r among the sages was Kushyupu,^ the 
lather of the gods,.giant6, and men* From Uditee were born the gods ; from Ditee the 
giants, from Kudroothe hjnlras,. and from Tihuta, Gruroorii and Uroonu. After creat- 
ing these sages,^ whawere of coarse bramhund, Brum^ha caused a ksbutriyu to spring 
fVom his arms, a voish jii frcMU his thighs^and a shoodrii from his feet- In this order, ac« 
cording to the pooranus,, the whofe creation arose. The Hindoo shastrus, however, 
contain a yarietj of different accounts on the subject of creation. I have thought it 
necessary to gire this brief statement,, as it seems^ connected with the history of thll> 

Rrumha is represented as a man with four faces, of a gold colour ; dressed ii\ white 
garments r riding on a goose. Fn onehand beholds a stick, and in the other a knmim- 
duloo, or alms* dish.. He is callbd the Grandfather fpitaHfnuhii)of gods and men.* 
He is not much regardtsd in the reigning superstition f nor does any one adopt him* 
as his guardiaii deit j» 

The bramhuns, in their morning and evening worship^ repeat an incantation con« 
taining a description of the image of Brumba ; at noon they perform an act of worship in 
lionourofthisgod, presenting to him sometimes a single flower r atthetimeof aburnt 

' -f Japiter wat called the father and kiog of gods and men. 

30 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Partiu. Chif.u 

offering clarified butter is presented to Brumha. In the month Maghu, at the full moon, 
an eartli^n image of this god is worshipped, with that of Shivii on his right hand, and 
that of Vishnoo on his left. This festival lasts only one day, and the three gods are, 
the next day, thrown into the river. This .worship is accompanied with songs, dan- 
ces, music, &c. as at all other festivals ; bat {he worship of Brumha is most frequently 
celebrated by a number of young men of the baser sort, who defray the expences by 
A subscription. — ^Bloody sacrifices are never offered to Briimha. 

^ Brumha, notwithstanding the Tenerable name of grandfather, seems to be as lewd 
as any of the ^ ods. At the time that intoxicating spirits were first made, all the gods, 
giants, gundhurviis, yukshus, kinnuriis, &c« were accustomed to drink spirits, and no 
blame was then attached to drunkenness.: but one day Bramlia, in a state of intoxica- 
tion, made an ttttempt on the virtue of his own daughter, by which he incurred the 
wrath of the gods. Some timeafterwards, Briimha boasted in company, that he was as 

great a god as Shi viu Hearing what Briimha had been saying, the latter inflamed with 
anger was about to cutoff one of Brumha's heads, but was prevented hy the interces- 
sions of the assembled gods. Brumha complained toDoorga, who appeased him 1)y 
saying, that Shivii did not attempt to cut off his head because he aspired to be greater 
than he, but because he (Brumha) had been guilty of a great crime in endeavouring 
to seduce his daughter. Brumha was satisfied with this answer, but pronounced a 

i:urse on whatever god, gundnurvu^ or upsura should hereafter drink spirits. 

, The above is the substance of the story as related in the Muhabharntu. The KasLie- 
Idiiinduof the Skiinda pooranii says that Brumha lost one of his heads in the following 
manner : 'This god was one day asked by certain sages, in the presence of Krutoo, a form 
iff Vishnoo, who was greatest, Brumha, Vishnoo, or Shivu ? Brumha affirmed that he 
was entitled to this distinction. Krutoo, as a form of Vishnoo, insisted that the superi- 
ority belonged to himself. An appeal was made to the vMus ; but those books declared 
in favour of Shivfu On hearing this verdict, Brumha was filled with rage, and made 
many insulting remarks upon Shivu 4 who, assuming the terrific form of Kalii-rBhoirii* 
Tu, appeared before Briuuba and Krutoo, and, receiving farther insults from Brumka^; 
with his nails tore oJBf one of Briimha^s five heads. Brumha was now thoroughly hum- 
bled, and with joined hands acknowledged th^t he was inferior io Shivii. Thus this 

Or THs GODS— BWiinAa.] OF T H E H I ND 6 019. 34 

quarrel betwixt the three gods was adjusted ; and Shivu> the naked mendicant, was ae* 
knowiedged as Muha-d^vu, the great god. 

Bromha is also charged with stealing several calves from the herd which ITrishniB 
was feedings 

This god assuming the appearance of a religious mendicant, is said to have appear*: 
ed many times on earth for different purposes.. Stories to this effect are to be found 
In several of the pooranus* 

The Mrdiabharutu contains the following descriptionof the heaven of Brumha t Thi9 
heaven is 800 miles long^ 400 broad, and 40 high. Narudu, when attempting t<^ 
describe this heaven, declared himsel£ utterly incompetent to the task ; that he Qould 
not do it in two hundred years ; that it contained in a superior degree all that was ia 
the other heavens ; and that whatever existed in the creation of Brumha on earth, front 
the smallest insect to the largest anioial,. was to be found here*. 

A scene in the beaten of. Brumha ;-rVrihu8putee, the spiritual guide of the gods, oi» 
a particular occasion, went to the palace of bis elder brother Qotut'hyu, and became 
enamoured of his pregnant wife. The child in the womb reproved him. YrlhiJspiifee 
cursed the child, on which account it was born blind, and callec^ Deerghu-tiima.^ 
When grown up,. Dee i^ghu-tiima followed the steps of his uncle, and from his criminal 
amours Goutumu and oth^r Hindoo saints were horji* Deergbii-tuma was delivered, 
firom the curse of Vrihusputee by Yoodhist'hiru.. 

This god has many names,, among which are the following : Brumha, or, he who 
multiplies [mankind]. Atmubhoo, the self-existent. Pnrum6st'hee, the chief sa» 
crificer.t Pita-muhu, the grandfather. HirTTnyu-gurbhii, he who is pregnant with 
gold. Lok6shu, the god of mankind^ the creator^ Chutoor-anunu, the four-faced. 

* yrom De^rghVj long; t&roa, darkness. 

 "Rmt'w,a8 the first bramhiia be performed all the great sacrificet of the Hmdoa law. To every sacrifice a 
bramb&A is oecessar j« 


Dhata, llie creator. iSTyu-yonee, he who is bom from the water-lily. Droohinn, he 
H'ho subdues the giants. Pnijaputee^ the lord of all creaturw* Savitree-'putee^ tho 
Ixufibaud of Savitree. 



INDIIU is called the king of heaven^ and his reign is said to coatinu^e 100 ycarg 
'Of the gods, after ivhich anotlier person^ from among the gods, the giants, or men, bj 

* _ 

his own merit, raises himself to this eminence^ The sacriice of a horse* one hundred 
tknes raises a person to the rank of ludrii. 

ThcShree-bhagwutu gives the following list of the persons who have been or win 
be raised to the rank of king ef the gods during the present kulpn: Huree, Rochiinii, 
Sutyu-jit^ Trishikhu, Vibhoq^ Miintru-droomfi, and Poorundurri, the present Indru. 


To him will succeed Buke^ Shrootu,fihumbhoo, YoidhritujOundhiVdhama, Divus-pu« 
4ee, and Shoochee* 

Indru is represented as a wUte nan, sitting oa an ^lepbant called Oiravuti^ with 
a thunderbolt in his right hand, and a bow in his left, ile has 1000 eyes. 

The worship of Indni is celebrated annually, in the day time, on the Hth of the 
lunar month JBhadru. The usual x^eremonies of worship are accompanied with sing* 
ing, music, dancing, &c. Jn Bengal (he greater number of those who keep this fes« 
tival are women ; in whose flames the ceremonies are performed by officiating bram* 
hiins. It lasts one day, after which the image is thrown into the river. This festival, 
which is accompanied by the greatest festivities, is celebrated all over Bengal; each 
one repeating it annually during fourteen years. On the day of worship, a few 

^ Tbe horse, on Mcoant of hii oieruluMtiu war, wasstcrifioed to Mars. 


blades ttf dSSrTE. j^rass ase 4ied round fliie rig\t arm of a man, and tbe left of a woman. 

'iSoDte pavBMs wear tins ^tring^ wkick ceaiaias fourteen knots, for a moBth after thb 

rieslifal is oyer. Fourteen kinds af frails, fourteen cakes, &c« most be presented to 

the image. This worship is performed for the pnrpose of procuring riches^ or a 

Sionsey •r a son, or pleasare, or a rendence after deatk in Indru's keayen. 

Indi% i* aappoeed to prende oyer the dementsi so that 4n times of drought preyeia 
are addressed 4o him as the giver of rain* 

Tie is also one oFihelen guardian deities of (he earth, and is ^d to preside in the 
teasl. To render the worship of any other god acceptable, it is necessary that the wor« 
•hip of these deities be previondy performed, via. of Indni, Ugnee, Yamn, Noiridl, 
VTiroonn, Pgrunu, Eeshu, tJ^ntetii, Eoovini, and Bnimhai also that of Hhe five deities,^ 
▼iz. Sooryii, GrTmSsha, ShivTi, Doorga, and Yishnoo^ and of the nine planets, viz. 
Aoree, Sonrii, M nngiilti, Boodhii, Yrihuspntee, Shookru, IShunee, Hahoo, and K^too* 
In consequence of this rule, a few ceremonies «f worship are peiformed to Indru at tbe 
coramencemeni tf ewry festivaL 


The pooranoB and other writings contain a number of stories respecfting (his king 
«f the gods, who is represented as particularly jealous lest any persons should, by 
the performance of sacred austerities, outdo him ia religious merit, and thus obtain 
his kingdom. To prevent these devotees from succeeding in their object, he gene* 
rally sends a captivating female from his own residence to draw away their minds, and 
thus throw them down from the ladder of religions merit, and send them back again 
1i> a life of gratification among the delusive forms t)f earfh« But that which en- 

taifs the greatest infamy on the characfer of tliis god is, his seducing the wife of his 
spiritual guide Goutumr^ This story is related in the Ramayunii as follows t < After 
receiving the highest honours from Prumiitee, the two descendants of Rughoo, hav- 
ing passed the night there, went towards Mit^hila. When (he sages beheld at a dis- 
tance the beautiful city of Junfiku, they joyfully exclaimed ' Exccllentl excellent V 
Raghuva, seeing a hermitage in a grove of Mit'^hila, asked the chief of sages, < What 
solitary wilderness is tbis, O divine one? I desire to hear whose hermitage this Is, 
beautiful, of impenetrable shade, and inhabited by sages.' Vishwamitru hearing 


3i HISTORY, LITERATURE, a«d RELIGION, [Part hi. eiuip. i. 

titese words, in pleasing accents, tihuis answered the lotos^eyed Rama, ^ Attend, I witt 
inform thee whose is this bennitage, and in what manner it became solitary, cursed 
by the great one in his- wrath. This was the sacred hermitage of the great GonffimB^ 
md<nrDed with trees^ flowers and fruUs. For many thousand yeans, O son of Rugboo, 
did the sage remain here with Uhalya, performing sacred austerities. One day ^O 
Kamn, the sage being gone far distant, the king of heaveo, acquainted with the oppor^ 
tnnity, and sick with impure desire, assuming the habit of a sage^* thns addressed 
Uhulya, * The menstrual season deserves regard,t O thou  ♦♦*•*»«*#♦»«.♦ 

« » « « « « 9^ This depraved woman, O afflicter of enemies,, knowing Shiikni,| in the 
disguise of a sage, through wantonness consented, he being king of the gods. The chief 
of the gods having perpetrated bis crime, she thus addressed htm, ^ O chief of goA^ 
thou hast accomplished thy design, speedily depart unohscrvedc O sovereign of 
the gods, effectually preserve thyself and me from GoutTnnii.' Indrii smiling, replied 
tol^hulya, <0 beautiful one, i am fully, pleased; I will depart; forgive my transgres« 
sion. ' After this, he, O Ramu, with much caution, left the hermitage,, dreading ibe 
wrath of Goutumu. At that instant he saw Goutfimil enter, resplendent with energy, 
and, through^he power of sacred austerities, invincible even to the gods ;|| wet with 
ihe waters of the sacred t$ert*hn,^ as the fire moistened with clarified hatter,.^ he saw 
him coming to the bennitage, laden with sacrificial wood, and the sacred kooshfi. Per^ 
ceiving him, Shukrii was overwhelmed with sadness. The sage clothed in virtue, be* 

* Th«t is, the habit of GootttmS. This resembles JopiCcr's sedaciQg Alcmena, the wife of AmphjrtrioB, io.bsr 
bgsband'a absence, in the likeness of Amph^trioo. 

f* According to the shaitriii, sixteen dajs from the appearance of the menses isrecVened the roenstrva] sea- 
son. All coniiubialiintercourse is forbidden during the first three of these days. The gaik incnrred by a ▼ioiation of* 
tliis role, on the hrst daj is equal to that of a criminal connection with a female ch&nda1&> on the second day c%«al 
to the same act with a washerwoman, and on the third to tlie same act with a female shoodrii.! 

i A name of IndrQ* signifying streogili* 

n The Hindoos belicYC that the merit of works is saoh as to be saficient (o raise « persAii higbertkan Ibe gods 

i TeiiriliSs are cerfaia places esteemed pec.nliarlj sacred by the Biudoos. Batbiag in these places tt-rrcb-^ 
oned highly meritorious. 

* That is,^ the fire of the burnt offering.. 


litMing Ae profli^te lord ef die gods ia tliedisguise t>f a sage, in dieadTul anger thus 
addressed faim: ^O profligate wretcb, assuming my form thou hast perpetrated this 
crime : therefore become an eunuch.' At the word of the magnanimous and angry Gou* 
tfimS) die tbottsaad«-eyed god instantly became an eunuch. Deprived of manly energy, 
aod t e i iftat cJ un cumicfa by the anger of the devout sage, he, full <>f agonizing pain^ 
was overcome with sorrow.* The great sage, having cursed h im, pronounced a cursa 
upon his own wife : < ianuraerable series of years, O sinful wretch, of depraved heart, 
tbWy enduring ercessive pain, abandoned, lying constantly in ashes, invisible to all 
creatures, shalt remain iri this forest. When Ramii^ the son of Dnshuriit^hn, shall en* 
ter this dreadfiil forest, thou, beholding bim, shalt be cleansed from thy sin. Having, 
Oidnpid wveteb ! entertained bim without selfisb views, tfaou, filled with joy, shalt 
again approach me without fear.^ Having tbus addressed this wicked woman, the 
tf ustrious Groutumn, the great ascetic, abandoned this hermitage, and performed au* 
^ferities on the pleasant top of HimuviH^ frequented by the siddhus and diarunus.'f 

ladru was also guilty oT stealing a borse consecrated by king Sugiiru, who was about 
to perform, for the bundredth time, the sacrifice of this 

ladru, tbougb king of the gods, has been frequently overcome in war ^ M^hii- 
uadii,:): the son of Ravunu, the giant, once oreroame him, and tied him to the feet 
of his horse. On condition of releasing the king of the gods, Brumba conferred 
xuk M6gbu-nadu the name IndnVjit, that is, the conqueror of Indrfu He was called 
Megbu-nadu because he fought behind a cloud (m^hu), and this enabled bim to 
overcome lodru, who, in the engagonent, was unable to see bim, though be bad a thou* 
sand eyes. 

Kusbynpn, the satge^ once performed a gieat ssicrifice, to which all the gods were 
invited. Indru, oh his way to the feast, saw £0,000 dwarf bramhuns trying in vaio 

* Odier aceounts lay, that GontSm€ imprinted a thunsand female narki opon him as proofs of Ills criffle, mud 
tbat Inditt was so ashamed* that he peliiioned GoutftmA to delirer him from his disgrace. The fage^ U)CrcfoK» 

dhangfd these marlLsiitto e^tsiaad hence liidrii became thelhoasaud-e^edgod. 

f Kimsts aadManhmm's tim&alation of ifaeEanajftafit vol. li page 4SS. 
I lUa mud ainUies thonden 

E 2 


to cross a eow*8 footstep which was filled with water ;. and hadihenti^fbrtmie to tetigbf 
at these pigmies, at which they were so- incensed,, that thej. resolved, toumake a noir 
Indru, who should conquer him. and take-away his kingdom. Indoi was sa ft igbleii«^ 
ed at these 60^000 pigmy brandiuns, who could notiget over a. cow*s footstep^ Ihathc^ 
entreated Brumha to interfere^ who saved him. from, th^ir wrath^ aod^contiAUttiJuai;^ 

lyeseriplian of Um&rat&leiy the residence ofTndr&yfrom the M&hab&aHUi : This he*^ 
Ten was made by Vishwu-kurma, the architect of thegpds. It is SOO^miles in circum«k 
ference, and 40 miles high.; its pillars are composedof diamonds; alLtts clftYatod.scats^ 
beds, &c« are of gold ; itapalaces are ako^f gold. It is* so ornamented with all kinds of ^ 
precious stones, jcisper, chrysolite,. sapphirey,emifra{ds,&c. Sec. that it exceeds in spleo*- 
dour the brightness of tweiye sons united^. U is surrounded yAih gardens and forests. 
containing among other tEeesi the parij^ii, the fragrance of the fiewers of which extenda* 
800 miles,, that is,, fills the whole heaven.^ In the pleasure grounda are pools of wa^ 
ter>y warm. ill winter and cold in. summer,. abounding, with fish, waterofowV^dter^ilios^. 
&c the landing places of which are of gpldv All kinds of trees and-floweringshrubs-; 
abound in these gardens. The winds are most refreshing, ne vet boisterous ; and the heat 
df the sun is never oppressive. Gods,. sage», upbfiras,, kinniirus^ siddfaus, saddhyns^.d^r* 
vurshees, brumhurshees j. rajurshees, Vrihusputee,. Shookrti, Shiuiee^^oodha, the windsi 
clouds, Oiravutri, (Indru^s elephant}^ and other celestial beings^ dweU in this heaveu* 
The inhabitants are continually entertained with songs, dances,, music, and* every spe^^ 
cies of mirth. Neither sickness,, sorrow, nor sudden deafli^ are found in these re-* 
gions, nor are its inhabitants affected with hunger or thirst. liVhen the god Narudii 
was sitting in an assembly of princes at king Ybodhist*hiru^s,. the latter asked him whe» 
ther he had ever seen so grand a scene before. Nanidir^ after some hesitation^ declar* 
ed he had beheld a scene far more splendid in )ndru*s heaven^ of which he then gate 
the above account ; but confessed that the place exceed^ all- his powen of deBccip»% 


A scene in Indrffs heaven ; — On a certain occasion an assembly of the gods was hefd 
in this place, at which, beside the gods, Narijdn and the rishees^ the gtuius, diikshfis^ 

* It if • coriou fact , chat thoogb thii flower is so celclirated in the peortntts for hi fragrance, it has ao scent aNifi. 

QttmGom—Indr&.'i OF THE HINDOOS. IT 

gnodhurvfis. Sec. were present, IVhile tlie courteasans were dancingy.and the kinQHrus 
*tngii^9 tbfi whole assembly was filled with the highest pleasure^ To crown iheijr 
jojs^ the godft caused a shower of flowers io fidi oa the assembly. Xhe king of the 
gods, bcii^ the most distiuguisbed personage present, first took up a flower,, and, aftcf 
lieldiog, it to his nose, gare it io a bramhun* The assembled gods laughing at 
the bramhun for receiving what Indru had used, he went home in disgrace ; but curs* 


td Indru^ and doomed hiok to become a cat in the house of a person of the lowest cast.- 
Suddenly^ and ttnknow;n to all^ he feU from heaven,, and became a cat in the house oC 
ahunter. Afler he had been absent eight or tea dajs, Shuchee, his wife^ became rerjr 
aaxioas^and sent messengei^ every where taenquire for her husband. The gods also- 
laid among tbemselm,. ^ What is become of Indru ? — A total silence reigns in his pa« 
lace, noraie we-iimtedto-the dance and the usual festivities V What can be the meani^ 
ing of this ?'— All searckwas in yain ; and the gods assembled to enquire where he was t 
They fowid Shuchee ina state of distractioit, of whom Briionha enquired respecting the 
Itet god. At length Briiii^ clbsed his eyes,.and by thepower of meditation discover^ 
ed that Indrivhaving offended abnimhun,.had become a cat. Shuchee^fuU of alarpo^ 
asked Briimha what she was to Sof He told her togoio the house of the bramhun,4md 
obtain bis fiiivour,.upon which her husband would be restored to Uer,. Shiichee obeyed^ 
flie directions of firfimha^and went to the house of the bramhun,. who«wa» at length^ 
pkased^ith her attentions,. and ordered her to descend to the earth,and^go to the house, 
of the banter,, whose wife would tdl her what to do that her husband might be restor* 
ed ta his tbrpne in heaven. A'S8iiming< a human fiNin,.she went to the house of the hun-^- 
ler,.and,. looking at the cat ,.sat weepings The: wife of the hunter,, struck with, the di« . 
vine form of Shuchee,. enquired with: surprise who she was. Shuchei hesitated,, and* 
ttfpressed her doubts whether tUchunter^ wife would believe her if she declared her: 
mat name*. At lenglhsheconfessed who she was,.and, pointing to the cat,declared that 
thpit was her husband,. Indru, the king^of heaven ! The hunter's wife,, petrified witb^ . 
aitomshment„stood^ speechless. Shrichee,.afier8ome farther discourse, said,. she had 
been informed that she (the hunter'i wife>,aIoneoould assist her in obtaining the deli« 
verance of her husband. Afler some moments of reflection,, this woman directed Shii*- 
ekeeto perform the Kalika^vnitii* She obeyed r and poor Indru, quitting the form 
ff the cat, ascended to heaven, and resumed his place among the gods. No doubt h« 
look care iivfiititre not to offend a bramhun^ 


Another scene f », ihc heaven of Indrv^ froHi the Shreh^VhagtfoU^L — On a certain oc- 
casion, the heavenly courtesans and others were dancing before the gods, wheniniM 
mras so charmed with the dancing, and the person tiFOorvushee, one of the couttezaos, 
that he did not perceive when his spiritual guide ITrihusputee entered the assemblj, 
and neglected to pay him the nsual honours. Vrihispntee was so incensed at 
this, that he arose and left the assembly. The gods, perceiving the cause, in the ut* 
most consternation,* went to Indro, and made him acquainted with what had passed. 
The latter Intreated the gods to join h hn in seeking for the enraged Yrihuspufee ; but 
the spiritual guide had, by the power of yogii, rendered himself invisible. At last 
they found the angry gooroo in his own house, and the gods joining their petitions to 
those of Indru entreated that the offence might be forgiven. Vrihosputee declared that 
lie had for ever rejected Indru, and that his resolution would not be changed. In* 
drfi, offended that for so small an ofience he should be so harshly treated, declar* 
«d tliat he would make no farther concession?, but seek another religious guide. 
The gods approved of his resolution, and advised him to choose yishw3*r55p{2, a 
giant with three heads. In process of time*, at the sXiggestion of his mother, Vish- 
wii-roopn began a sacrifice to procure the increase of the power of the giants, the 
natural enemies of the gods. Indnj heard of this, and, hurling his thunders on 

the head of the faithless priest, destroyed him in an instant. The father of Vish- 
nu -roopn heard of his son's death, and, by the merit ot a sacrifice, gave birth to a 
giant, at the sight of whom Indrii fled to firnmha, who informed the king of the gods 
that this giant could not be destioyed by all bis thunders unless he could persuade 
Diidheeohee, a sage, io renounce life, and give him one of his bones. T^e sage 
consented, and by the power of yogii renounced life ; when Vishwukurnia made tbii 
bone into a thunder-bolf, and the giant was destroyed. But immediately on his death, 
a terrific monster arose from the body to punish Indru for his bramhiinicide* Wher« 
ever the king of the gods fled, this monster followed him with his mouth open, ready 
to swallow him up, till Indrii took refuge In a place where the monster could not ap- 
proach him ; however he sat down, and watched the trembling culprit. After some 
time the gods began to be alarmed : there was no king in heaven, and every thing was 
falling into complete disorder. After consultation, they raised to the throne of hea« 

* A Hindoo considers the acger of his spiritiifti guide as the greatest poitiM^ misfortuie* 

. Or THE «ODs— /iitfrS.l OF TUB HI N DO as^ 99 

xeriy in his bodily state, Nahoosbti) w^o had performed the sacrifice of a horse one. 
Iiuadred times* When Nuhooshii enquired for Shficbeey the queen of heaven^ he 
found she was iit the parijnta forest, tte sent for her ;.bu( she declared she would not 
come,, as he had a b«mau and not a divine body » The messengers remonstrated with 
her, but she fled to Brumha^ who advised her to send word to the new Fndrii, that she 
would live with. him> if he would come and fetch hcc.wi&' an equipage superior to 
whatever: had been seen before in heaven- , !f!\\\s message was conveyed to the 

new IndrTi, who received it with much joy, but took, several days to consider in what 
way he should go to fetch* home the queen» At last, he resoIvedT to be carried to her in 
the arms of some of the principal sages.. As the procession was moving along^ the 
Idng^^in his excessive anxiety to arrive at the parijalu forest^ kicked the sacjred lock of 
hair on the head of UgTistyu^ who became filled with rage^nd, pFonouncing a dreadful 
curse on the nevR ladra^ threw himdown^ and he felly in the form, of a snake,, upon a 
moontaiov on the earth; — Vjishnoo^ preceiving that one Indru wasikept a prisoner^and 
that anotherhad been cursed and sent down to the earthy resolved to find a remedy for 
thisevilyaod cursing the monster who had imprisoncdthe former king, of the gpdayxej^ his throne and kuigdom.. } 

AioHler scene in Tndru's heaven^ from tKe Muhahhwruii i — ^Narfidu one day calle«f 
at KrbhmVs, having with him a parijatn flower from the heaven of Indru« Thefra* 
grance of this flower filled the whole place with its odours. Nariidu first called on 
Rookminee, one of Krishnu^a wives, and offered- the flower to*her- She recommend* 
ed him to give it to KrishntVthat he might dispose oCit as he chose.^ He- next went 
to Krishna,^ who received him with- great respect t < Well^Narudu — ^you* are come 
after a long absence : What flower is (hat ^ 'Cm't you (ell by its fragrance ?.' 
said Narridn, < It is the parijafu :- I brought it from Indru'i g-arden^r and 1 now pre- 
sent it to.yott^T Krisfanii received' it with pleasure,^ and^.after some fur(her. conver- 
sation^. Narudtt> retired into anotlier part of the house and wa(ched Krishnii^ io see 
to which of his wives he would give thisflower^ that he might exci(e a' quarrel in 
Krishnii^s family,, and* ultimately a war betwixt Krisfanu' and* Indrii;. Krishnu, 

tfter Narudu had retired,, went to Rookminee,. and gave the flower to her, warning 
her to keep it secret, lest Sutya-bhama (another of Kriah nil's wives) should hear of it. 
As soon. as-Nbindu saw to wliom Krishnu had given the flowery he paid a visit to 


%0 HISTORY, LlTEttATURE, Ara RELroiOK, iPtwtuuCuAw.u 

iSut3'u«b1iama : she received him with great attention, and, after the first 'ComplU 
ments were oyer, Narudri fetched a deep sigh, which Siityii-bhama DOticiag*, enquire 
cd the caase. He seemed to answer with reluctance^ which made 'Sutjru-bhama still 
more inqnisitiTe. He then acknowledged that his sorrow was on her acconnt* Her 
anxiety was new inflamed to the highest degree, and she begged him to tell her without 
delay what he meant. -^ I have always considered you,** says Narndn, ^as the most be« 
loved wife of Krishnu. The fame ofyour happiness has reached heaven itself ; bat froni 
what I have seen to-day^ I suspect that this is all mistake.^ < Why ?^Why f 


asked Sutyu-bhama most anxiously* Naruda then unfolded io her, in the mort 

cautious manner, the story of the flowers < I broughtfirom heaven/ says he, < a 
parijato flower:; a flower which is not to be obtained on earthy and gave it to Krish* 
mu I made no doubt but he would present it to you ; to whom dse should he pre* 
sent itf But instead of that he went secretly to the -apartments of Reokmiooe, nnd 
^ve the flower to hen Where then is his love to you V — 'Sutyn-bhama asked 
what kind of flower this was* Nariidn declared that it was not in his power to de^ 
"Bcribe it. * Do you not perceive,'' said he, •< its odours ?* * I perceived,^ said Sut* 
yn-bhama^ ^the most delightful fragrance, butl thought it was from your body."* 
Narudu declared that his body was ofiensive, and that it was the par^atu that dif« 
fused its odours all around. -^But,^ says he, ^when you see Krishnn, ask him 
to let you look at it/ * And do you think then,** said Sutyu*bhama, ^ that I shall 
speak to Krishna, or see his face, any morel* — ^ You are right,* said Narudu : 'he 
did not even let you see so precious a jewel ; but secretly gave it to another.^— 
The enraged Satyu-bhama made the most solemn protestations that she had done 
with Krishnn for ever. Narudu praised her for her resolution, bat hinted^ that if she 
-ever did make up-the matter with Krishna, she should insist upon his fetching one 
of the trees from heaven, and giving it to her- Narudu having thus laid the founda« 
tion of a dreadful quarrel betwixt Krishnu and his wife, andof a war with Indni, 
withdrew, and Sutyu-bhama retired to the house of anger.*— —Some days after 
this,' Krishnii went to see Sutyu-bhama, but could not find her; on asking the ser« 
▼ants, they told him that she had on some account retired t^ the house of anger. Not 

being able to discover the cause, he went to her, and made use of every soothing ex* 


^ 4 koase tet apart for an a^grj wife, where the retires till herhaibani reeeacilai biaiieir tt Ger^ 

OtrmGOoa—Indr&.} OF THE HINDOOS. 4I 

presston ; but ia vain. At last he threw himself at her feet, ivhen, afler many en(rea« 
ties, she consented to be reconciled, on condition that he should fetch one of the 
trees from heaven, and plant it in her garden. This he engaged to do, and sent Guroo« 
ru to Indra with his respects : but commissioned Giiroorri in case of refusal to threaten 
him with war ; and if this did not avail, to add that Krishnii would come and trample 
on the bodj of his queen, overturn bis throne, and take t^e tree from him by force« 
Neither the entreaties nor threats of Krishnu moyed Indrii; who, on the contrary, sent 
liim a defiance. Krishnu, on the return of Gurooru, collected his forces, and invaded 
heaven. Dreadful havock was made on both sides. All the heavens were in a state of 
frightfnl uproar ; and the gods, full of alarm, advised Indru to submit, as he would 
certunly be overcome. At length Krishnu let fly a weapon called Soodiirshunu, which 
ptmaed the foe wherever he went. The gods again exhorted Indrii to sue for peace, 
to prevent his immediate destruction : he at length took this advice, and submitted to 
the enraged Krishnii, who carried off the tree in triumph, and appeased his jealous wife 

The following are some of the names of this god z Indru, or, the glorious. — Muroo« 
twan, he who is surrounded by the winds.— Paku-shasunn, he who governs the gods 
with justice. — Pooroohootji, he who was invited to a sacrifice performed by king Poo* 
roo. — Poorundurj, he who destroys the dwellings of his enemies. — Jishnoo, the con* 
queror. — Shukrii, he who is equal to every thing. — ShiitumOnyoo, he who perfomi- 
^ a hundred sacrifices. — Divusputee, the god of the heavens. — Gotrubhid, he who 
clipt the wings of the mountains.* — Biyrec, he who wields the thunder-bolt. + — ^Vri- 
truha, be who destroy^ the giant Vritrri. — ^Vrisha, the holy .—Soorii.putee, the king 
4>f the gods. — BTiIaratee, the destroyer of Bulu, a giant. — ^Hiirihiiyii, he who is drawn 
by yellow horses. — Nfimoochisoodunri, the destroyer of Numoochee, a giant. — Sfm- 
Jirmidunu, he who causes the wives of his enemies to weep. — ^Toorashat, he who is 

* it is said, tint fonocrl J tlie momitaini bad wing% and Ibat they flew into all parts of Ihe earth and crosfaed to 
AtOBS towns* cities^ &c. 

i In tbis lodril resembles Jupiter Falmi'nator. 


tt HISTORY, LITERATURE, anj> RELIGION, [Purt m. Chaf. !• 

Able to bear aU things.— M6gUu-vaUunu, he Mrho rides on the clouds.— Suhusraksho, 
lie ^vho has a thousand eyes.* ^ » 



THIS god is said to be the sop of Kubbjupu, the progenitor of gods and men. He 
i^ rf presented as a dark-red man, Tvith three eyes^ and four arms ; in two hands he 
holds the water-lilj ; ^ith another he is bestowing a blessings and with the other for« 
bidding fear. He sits on a red water-lily, and rays of glory issue from his body. 

The bramhuns consider Soory u as one of the greatest of the gods, because in glory- 
he resembles the one Brumhu, who is called t6jomriyij, or the glorious. In the v^diis 
also this god is much noticed : the celebrated incantation called thegayutlree^ and ma* 
ny of the forms of meditation, prayer, and praise^ used in the daily ceremonies of the 
bramhuns, are addressed to him. He is at present worshipped daily by the bramhuns^ * 
when flowers, water, &c» are offered, accompanied with incantations. 

On a Sunday, at the rising of the sun, in any months but especially in the month 
Maghu, a number of persons, chiefly women, perform the worship, of Sooryu. I 
shall give an account of this worship in the words of a respec^ friend :'< The sun 
is annually worshipped on the first Sunday in the month Maghu. The name of this 
worship is called Dhurrau-bhaoo, or Sooryu-bhaoo. The ceremonies vary in diflferent 
places, but in this district the women appear to be the principal actors ; though non^ are 
excluded, and even Mfisulmans are so far hindooized as to join in the idolatry. I saw 
it once thus conducted : At the dawn of the morning a great number of offerings were 
carried into the open field, and placed in a row. The offerings consisted of fruits, 
sweetmeats, pigeons and kids. A small pot was placed by each person's offering, con- 

* Mr. Wilkius considers Inditi, with his thoasgnd eyes, ab a delficaiion of the beaTCiia. t The Son* 

Of T« aow— 555rj/&] . OF THE HINDOOS. « 

ffinix^ aboat a pint and a half of water* A device made of a waf er-plant^ a species of 
Miilingtonia, intended to represent the Sun, was placed on the edge of (he pot , and a 
fmaii twig of the inango-tree, with a few leaves on it, put into if, as people in England 
ke^piflowers^ The pot with all its appendages represented the SQh, perhaps as the 
ririfierxtf nature* By each offering also was placed — \9hat shall I call it, an incense* 
altar, or .censer called dhoonachee. It resembled a ohaffing«dish, made of copper, and 
stood upon a pedestal about a foot long* It contained coals of fire, arid a kind of 
iucense from timit to time. was thrown into it, principally the pitch of the sahVtree^- 
Oalled dhoona. Near each offizrihg was.pljiced a lamp which was kept burning all day. 
The women also tooklheir stadohs near the offerings. At sun-rise they walked four 
times round the whole row of offerings, with the right hand towards them and the 
smoking dhoonachees placed on their heads, after which they resumed their stations 
again, where they continfied in an erect posture, fasting the whole day, occasionally 
throwing a little incense into, the dhoonachee. Towards evening the bramhun who at- 
tended the ceremony threw the pigeons up into the air ; which, being young, could 
nptfly fiitr^ and were scrambled for and carried away by the crowd. The officiating 
bramhun perforated the ears of the kids with a needle ; after which they were seized by 
thefi]%t person who touched them. About sun-set the ofierers again took up the smok- 
ing dhoonachees, and made three circuits round the rows' of offerings. After this the 
offerings and lighted lamps were taken away by their respective owners^ who threw the 
lamps into a pool of water.' 

Womm frequently make a vow to SSoryu to worship him, on Condition that he give 
•—to one, a sons to another, riches.; to another, health, &fc. Some perform these cere- 
monies after bearing a son. This wor&hip is sometimes attended to by one woman alone j 
At other times, by five, six, or more in company. 


• r 


Sooryu and the other planets are frequently worshipped in order to procure health. 
This the Hindoos call a sacrifice to the nine planets, when flowers, rice, water, a burnt- 
sacrifice, &c. are offered to each of these planets separately. It is said, that two or 
three hundred years ago, Mnyoorii-bhuttii, a learned Hindoo, in order to obtain a cure 
for the leprosy, began to write a poem of one hundred Siingskritu verses in praise of 

F 2 



SSory u ; and that by the time he had finished the last vent he was restored to health* 
These verses have been published under the title of Sooryu-shatuku, the author at the 
close giving this account of his cure. Sometimes a sick person procures a bramhiai to 
rehearse for him a number of verses in praise of Sooryu^ offer bg at the same time to thii 
god, rice, water and juva* fiowen. If the person be very ill, and a man of propefty^ 
he employs two or three bramhuns, who repeat as many as a thousand verses* 11u0 
c^emony must be performed standing in the sun: when a thousand venes are rebeaned^ 
the recitation occupies more than a day. The origin of this method ot obtaining re« 
lief from sickness b ascribed to Shambu, tiie son of Krishnu, one of the most beautifui 
youths in the three worlds, who was directed in a dream to repeat^ twice a day^ tho 
twenty«one names of S55ryu then revealed to him. 

The persons who receive the name of SdSryii, and adopt this god as their guanfiav 
deity, are called Souras : they never eat till they have worshipped the son, and when 
the sun is entirely covered with clouds they fast. On a Sunday many Sourus,. as well 
as Hindoos belonging to other sects, perform^ in a more particular manner,^ the wor^ 
ship of this idol, and on this day some of them £ut. 

The Ramayunu contains the following story respecting SbdrjVy HunoomanS, fte» 
In the war betwixt Kamu and Ravunu, an arrow discharged by P&vnnri pierced thebo« 
dy of Liikshmunu : Ramu and all his friends were exceedingly alarmed for-the life of 
Lukshmunu ; the physicians tried all their efforts in vain. At last one physician declared 
that if four kinds of leaves could be brought from the mountain Griindhu^madhurtay 
and applied to the wound, Lukshmimii might probably be restored to health. The 
god who had given this arrow to Ravunn had declared, that whoever was wounded 
with it in the night should not recover if a core were not obtained before day •light. It 
was night when the wound was inflicted, but Hunoomanu engaged to bring the leaves 
before morning. To secure the fulfilment of his promise, he leaped into the air, and 
alighted on the mountain ; but searched in vain for the mecficinal leaves. While 
in his search, liavunu, who had heard what was going forward, sent S5oryu to arise on 
the mountain at midnight. Hunoomanu, in a rage,' leaped up and seizing Sdoryuls cha» 


* Uiblscos rosa Sinenns. 


Ovrmm oosM—SoJryS.} 



riot wbedv plftc^ the bladog-god under his arm and the mountain on his head, and 
carried them to the camp oF Kamii, where the friends of Lukshmiini] searched out the 
phmtS) applied the leares^ and restoced him to health ; after which Honoomanu permitted 
855r jrii to depart. 

SSorju has two wires, Su?urna and Chaja. The former is the daughter of Vishwit- 
korma. After their marriage, Sururna, unable to bear the power of his rajs, made an 
image of herself; and, imparting life to it, called it Chajra,* and left it with Soorjriu 
Kie then returned to her father's house, but Vishwfikurma reproved his daughter for 
leaving her husband, and refused her an asylum ; but promised that if she would re^ 
turn, he would diminish the glory of So5rju*s rays. Suvilma resolved not to return, 
ttid^ assuming the form of a mare, fled into the forest of Ddnduku* Chay a and Yumo^ 
whrnnSuvurna had left withS85ryii, could not agree; and Yumu one day beating Cha* 
ya, she cursed him, so that he has ever since had a swelled 1^, Yumu^ weepings went 
UkiM fiither Soi^u> shewed him hb leg,, and related what had happened ; upon which 
S55rjfi began to suspect that this woman could not be Siivfirna,^ for no mother ever curs« 
ed her own son, and if she did, the curse could not take effsct.. He iamiediately pro« 
ceeded to the house of his father-in-law, who- received him with great respect, but un- 
perceived gave him a seat consisting of different sharp weapons, by which he became 
divided into twelve round parts* Soory ii was earaged,.and could not be pacified till-his 
father-in-law informed him that his daughter^ unable to bear the glory of his rays, had 
forsaken him* On enquiring where she was gone, the father said he had sent her back 
to bim immediately on her arrival,, but that where she now was he could not say. Soor- 
yij^ by the power of dhyanu,t perceived that Suvurna had become a mare, and was 
gone into some forest* The story here becomes too obseene for insertion. 

So&ryu and Suvurna in the forms of a horse anda roare^had two children^ to whomthey 
gave the names of Ushwinee and Koomaru.| When Sooryu returned to his palace^ 
he ad^ed his wife who this woman (Chaya> was.^ She gave him her hibtory^ and pre- 

* Thi* word meaai » ahMiow. 

t When de old Hindoo ucetict wiabed to ascertain » fact, they performed what is called dhj nA, t»» thc^^ ibiil 
tbdr e^es, and began to meditate, when, it is said, the informatioD thej sought was revealed to tbeiDit 

t Tint U$ the tons oft maie : these are now pbjsicians to Uie godsi 


senfed het to him as bis wife, and from that time Cha ja was acknowledged as SoSrjuV 
second wife. ' t ' 


There are no temples dedicated to Sooryu in BengaU The hearen of this god ia 
called Sooryu-lokii. A race of Hindoo kings, distinguished as the descendaots of the 
sun, ODce reigned in India, of which dynasty Ikshwakoo was the first king, and Ramii 
the sixty-sixth. 

The following are the principal names of Sooryu : So5ru, or, he who dries up the 
earth • — Sooryu, he who travels, he who sends men to their work. — Dwadushatma) he 
who assumes twelve forms.* — Divakuru, the maker of the daj. — Bbaskuru, the creator 
of the light. — Yivuswiit, the radiant.*— Siiptashwii, he who has seven horses in his cha« 
riot. — Vikurttunu, he who was made round by Vishwfikurma in his latht. — Urku, the 
maker of heat. — Hf ihiru, he who wets the earth, t — Pddshunii, he who cherishes all*-* 
Dyoomanee, he who sparkles in the sky. — Tunmee, the saviour. — Mitrn, the friend 
of the water-lily 4 — Gruhupotee, the lord of the stars. — Siihusrangshoo, the thousand-* 
layed. — Ruvee, he who is to be praised. 



THIS god is represented in the form of a fat short man, with a long belly, and an 
elephant's head.^ He has four hands; holding in one a shell, in another a chut(ru> 

^Allading \o bis progress Ihroagh the CwcWe signs, 

t The Sodrjtt.shatakft sa^ s. the sun draws up the waters from the earth, nnd then lets them fall in showers again. 

t At the risiog of the sun this flower expands itself, and wbeii the sun retires sbats up its leasts again. 

f S.r W. Jones calls Gan^shiS the god of wisdom, and refers, as a proof of it, to bis having an elephant's head» 

Iwnotfind, howerer, iliatihis god is considered by any of the Hindoos as properly the god of wisdon, forthuugh 

he IS said to give knowledge to those who worship him to obtain it, this is wbat is ascribed alsotoiotljer gods. The Hin- 

docs, in general, Helict e, consider the elcpbant as a stupid animal, aiid^it b a bitin;? reproof to be called as stupid as 
»nclei)hant. ft i r- 

Qw Ttt QOJO^-^Mtki.'] 



]a anolher a clab, and ia the fourth a water-liljr. He sits upon a rat. la an ele«^ 
phant's head are two projecting teeth, bat in Gun^shu's, only one, the otUbr having 
been torn oat bj Yishnoo, wh^n, in the form of Parusoo-ramn, he wi shed to have an 
ioterview with ShivS. Gunhhu, who stood as door-keeper, denied him entrance, upon 
which a battle ensued, and Purusoo-ramii beating him, tore out one of his teeth. 

The work called Gunesho-khrmdu contains a most indecent story respecting the 

birth of this god, which, however necessary to the history, is so extremely indelicate 

that it cannot possibly be given. It is mentioned in this story, that Doorga cursed 

the gods so-tbat they have ever since been diildless, except by criminal amours With 

females not their own wi ves» 

When it was known that Doorga had given birth to a son, Shunee, and the rest 

of the gods went to see the child. Shunee knew that if he looked upon the child it 

would be reduced to ashes, but Doorga took it as an insult that he should hang down 

his head, and refuse to look at her child. For some time he did not regard her reproofs ; 

but at last, irritated, he looked upon Gunesha, and its head was instantly consumed. ** 

The goddess seeing her child headless,+ was overwhelmed with grief, and would have 

destroyed Shunee ; but Brumha prevented her, telling Shunee to bring the head of the 

iirst animal he should find lying with its head towards the north. He found an elephant 

in this situation, cutoff its head, and fixed it upon Gun^shf?, who then assumed the 

shape-he at present wears. Doorga was but little soothed when she saw her son with 

an elephant^s head. To pacify her, Brumha said, that amongst the worship of all the 

gods that of Gun6shu should for ever bear the preference. In the beginning of eve- 

ly dft of public worship therefore certain ceremonies are constantly performed in ho- 

• This property is ascribed (o ShSnee, (Satorn) to point ovU no doubt, the sopposcd baDcful influence of thia pla- 
net. This rocinblcs the fable of Saturn's devouring ail his male children. The RamajJinli contains a story respecting 
BBshur^ii'l ti and Shfineti, in which it is said, that Dftsh&rlil'hn was once angry with this god for preventing the fall of 
rain in his kiHgdom. He ascended his chnrioc to make war wiifi him, when Sh" nee, bv a single glance of his eyes, set 
tie ling's chariot on fire, and DjshiSrfit'hS, in the most dreadful stale of alarm, fell from the skies. * 

f One caase of this misfortune is said to be this : Doorga had laid her child to sleep- with its head to the north, 
^Ijch is forbidden by the shasirti. The Anhiku-lltwa declares, ihit if a po'rson sleep with his head to the east, 
fce Hill be rich; if to the south, he will have long Ufci if to the uorlU, he will die iaud.if to the west, (except wUta 
•«• journey) he will have misfortuues. 


iiour of Oun6shii.* Not only is .Gun^sbu thus boaoared in religious cercmoRies, but 
in almost all civil concerns he is particularly regarded : asj ivhen a gerson is leaving; 
his house to go a journey, he says, < Oh ! thou Tvork-^perfccting Gun^hu, grant me 
success in my journey : Gfin^sliu ! Gun^shii! Giineshii!* — ^At the bead of every letter^ 
a salutation is made to Gun^hri.t When a person begiw> to read a salutes 
Gtindshu; arid shop-keepers and others paint the name or image of this god over the 
doors of their shops or houses, expecting from his favour protection and success* 

No public festivals in honour of G^inishii are held in Bengal. Many persons boW'* 
^ver chuse him as their guardian deity ; and are hence called Ganiipiityus^ 

At the full moon in the month Maghu, some persons make or buy a clay imagCy 
jiud perform the worship of Grindsbu, when the officiating brambna performs the ce- 
remonies common in the Hindoo worship, presentinjf offerings to the idol. This god 
is also worshipped ai considerable length at the commencement of a weddings as well as 
when the bride is presented to the bridegroom. Great numbers, especially from the 
Western and Southern provinces, celebrate the worship of Gun^huonthclthoftJie 
new moon in Bhadrii, when several individuals in each place subscribe and defray the 
ex pence. Many persons keep in their houses a small metal image of Gun&hii, place 
it by the side of the shalgramu^ and wm^hip it daily. At other times a burntpoffering 
4>f clarified butter is presented to this idoL Stone images of Gun^hu are worshipped 
daily in the temples by the sides of the Ganges at Benares ; bat I cannot find that 
there are any temples dedicated to him in BengaU 

Guneshu is also called Huridra-Gun6»hri. This name seems to have arisen oil of 

* • 

the following story : When Doorga was once preparing herself for bathing, she wiped 
efFthe turmerick, &c. with oil, and formed a kind of cake in her fingers.j: This 

* It will occur to the reader* that in all sacrifices amoog the lUmiaiu prayers were first offered to Ja«us. 

t G&nesh&ls famed as writing in a beaut ifal manner: so that when a person writes a fine hand people s»j« 
« Ah ! he writei like Gfio£shft.' This god is said to have first written the Mtthabhaifitil from the moiith of Vjasii- 

t The Hindoos have a custom of cleaning their bodies bj rubbing them all over with turmerick ; and then, Xakn 
ingoil in their hands^ wiping it off agaiui when it falls as a paste all acound thenu 


Of tm aoiM-^Kuriikijfii.1 OF THE HINDOOS. 49 

she rolled together, and made into the image of a child ; ^iihivhich she VfBS so much 
pleased, that she infused life into it, and called it H(uridra-Gun6Bhu.* The image 
of this god is yellow, having the face of an elephant. He holds in one hand a rope; 
in another the spike used by the elephant driver; in another a round sweetmeat, and 
in another a rod. 

The principal names of Gun&fafi are: Gfm^shu, or, the lord of the guhnud^vtas.f^— 
Dwoimatooru, the two-mothered 4 — Ekn-duntv, the one toothed.— H^riimbu, he who 
resides near to Shivu. — Lumbodiiru^ the long bellied. — Giijanunn, Uie elephanl-faced. 



THIS is the god of war. He is represented sometimes with one and at other times 
with six faces ; is of a yellow colour ; rides on a peacock ;S ^nd holds in his right 
band an arrow, and in his left a bow. 

The reason of the birth of Kartik^yu is thus told in the KoomarS.siimbhijyu, one of 
the kavyiis : Taruku, a giant, performed religious austerities till he obtained the bles* 
sin^of Bnonha, after which he oppressed both bramhuns and gods. He commanded 
that the sun should shine only so far as was necessary to cause the water-lily to bios* 
som; that the moon should shine in the day as well as in the night* He sent the god 

* U&ridra is the name (or turaeridr. 
t These «re the coropmnioDS of Shivli. 

i One ofGiiin^sh&'s mothers was Doorga, and the «tbcr the fenuile elq»liiint wJiose bead he weais. 
i J aoo's chariot was said to be drawn bj peacocks. 

50 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Paot in. Chap. i. 

Yumti to cut grass for his horses ; commanded Privunu to prevent the wind from blow* 
ing any stronger than the puff of a fan ; and in a similar manner tyrannized over all the 
gods. At length Indju called a council in heaven, when the gods applied to Brum- 
ha ; but the latter declared he was unable to reverse the blessing he had bestoii^ed on 
Tarukfi ; that their only hope was Kartikeyii, who should be the sou of Shivu, and 
destroy the giant. — After some time the gods assembled again to consult respecting the 
marriage of Shivu, whose mind was entirely absorbed in religious austerities. Afler 
long consultations, Kundiurpu* was called, and all the gods began to flatter htm in 
.fiuch a manner that he was filled with pride, and declared he could do every thing: 
he could conquer the mind even of the great god Shivu himself. < That, says Indru, 
is the very thing we want you to do.' At this he appeared discouraged, but at length 
declared, that he would endeavour to fulfil his promise. He consulted his wife Rutee ; 
who reproved him for his temerity, but consented to accompany her husband. They 
set off, with ya8untri,t to mount Himaluyn, where they found Shivu sitting under 9k 
roodrakshu :]: tree, performing his devotiong^ 

Previously to this, Himaluyii ^ had been to Shivut and proposed that Doorga, his 
daughter, should wait upon him, that he might uninterruptedly go on witLhis reli- 
gious austerities ; which offer Shivu accepted. One day, after the arrival of Kundurpa 
and his party, Doorga, with her two compani6ns Juy a and V ijuy ft> carried some flowers 
and a necklace to Shi vii. In the moment of opening his eyes from his meditation, to 
receive the offering, Kundurpu let fly his arrow ; and Shivu, smitten with love, awoke 
as from a dream, and asked who had'dared to interrupt his devotions.— •Looking to- 
wards the south he saw Kundurpu, when fire proceeded from the third eye in the 
centre of his forehead. And burnt Kundurpu to ashes. || The enraged god left this place 
for another forest, and Doorga, seeing no prospect of being married to Shivu, returned 

• The god of lo?©. t The spring. Th« Hindoo poets alvrays nnite Iotc and spring tofjethcr. 

t From the finit of ihis tree necklf ces are raadei the wearing of which it a great act of merit anong the Hift» 

§ The mountain of this name personified. 

I Throagli the blessing of ShivQ to K5tec, Kttndttrptt wn^ aHerwards bom in the familr of Krishn^i, and took 
the name of Kam*\-d6?!l| after which R5tH (then caUed Mayavfitee) was again married to him. 

Of THE GO»»— Ifflr/iW^.] OF THE HINDOOS, 51 

home full of sorrow. She sought at last to obtain her object by the power of religious 
austerities,* ia which she persevered till Sbivu was drawa from Jiis devotioiiS| whca 
the marriage was consummated. 

The MuhabhanUu and Ramayunu contain accounts of the birth of Kartik^yu^ the 
fruit of this marriage, but they are so indelicate that the reader^ I doubt not, will excuse 
their omission. 

On the last eveniiig in the month Kartiku, a clay image of this god is worship* 
ped^t and the next day thrown into the water. These ceremonies differ little 

from those at other fesliyals : but some images made on the occasion are not less than 
twenty-fire cubits high ; that is, a whole tree is put into the ground, and worshipped 
as a god. The height of the image obliges the worshippers to fasten the offerings to 
the end of a long bamboo, in order to raise them to the mouth of the god. This fes« 
tival is distinguished by much singing, music, dancing, and other accompanimenta 
cf Hindoo worship. 

The image of Kartikeyu is also made and set up by the side of his mother Doorga^ 
at the great festival of this goddess in the month Ashwinu; and each day, at the close 
of the worship of Doorga, that of her son is performed at considerable length. In the 
month Choitru also the worship of Kartik6yu accompanies that of his mother. — No 
bloody sacrifices are offered to this idol. 

At the time when the above festival is held, some persons make^ or purchase clay 

* When this goddeas* says a karytt shattr d, told ber mother that ihe would perform ao»terities to obtain ShlvU^ 
ber motber* alarmed, exclaimed — ^ Coma I (Oh ! mother !) how can jpoa tbiok of golDg into the forest to perform 
religiotn antterities? Stay «iid perfoim religious services at home, and jon will obtMu ihe god }ou desire. How can 
joor tender fonn bear these severities. The flower bears the weight of the bee, but it a bird pitch upon it, it breaks 


t Vast numbers of these images are made ; in some towns as nany as 500. It is supposed that in Calcutta more 
than five thoasaad are made and worshipped. 

i He who makes an image fur his own use is supposed to do an act of much greater merit than the person who 

G % 

52 HISTORY, LITERATURE, ako RBLIGIOX, [Paethi. Chap, x. 

images, which they place in their housed, and before which the officiatifig bramhun per* 
forms the appointed ceremonies, preceding which, a prayer is made for offspring. 
This is repeated sometimes on the anniversary of this day, for four years together. If 
the person, long disappointed, should, in these years, or soon after, happen to have a 
child, particularly a son, the whole is ascribed to Kartik^yii.* When persons have 
made a vow to Kartik^yu, they present offerings to this id<^ at the completion of the 
vow. These vows are sometimes made to obtain (he health of a child^or a son t a wo« 
man, when she makes this vow, thus addresses the god : < Oh I Kartik£yfi, t'hakoo* 
ru,f give me a son, and I will present to thee [here she mentions anumber of offeringsi 
as sweetmeats, fruits, &c.]— I do not want a female child/ This vow may be ma^jle 
at any time, or place, without any previous ceremony. When several women are 
fitting together, another woman perhaps comes amongst them^and, in the course of 
conversation, asks the mistress of^the house : ^ Has your daughter-in-law any children 
yet ?* She replies, in a plaintive manner, ^ No — nothing but a girl/ Or^ she answers 
altogether in the negative, adding, < I have again and again made vows to Kartik6yu> 
and even now 1 promise before you all, that if the god will give her a son, I wili 
worship him in a most excellent manner, and my daughter-in-law will do it as long 
as she lives/ 

There are no temples in Bengal dedicated to Kartik^yu, aor are any images of him 
kept in the houses of the Hindoos except during a festival. 

The principal names of Kartik6yu are : Kartik^yu, or, he who was cherished by 
six females of the name of Krittika4 — ^Muha-s£nu, he who commands multitudes*. 

* A part of the M&babharfitfi is sometimeB rented to obUin ofipring^ The part thus read is a list of the aii- 
cestors ol H'lree, (a name of Vishnoo). When a person wishes to have thi* ceremony performed, he erapIo58 » 
learned nativa to recite these verses^ and another to examioe» hj a separate copy, whether the irerses be read witlioot 
mistake ; if thej be read improperly, no benefit will arise from the ceremony. If the person who seeks o&pring be 
nnable to attend himself daring the ceremony, he engages some friend to hear the words in his stead.— Some yerset 
of praise* addressed to Shivu, are aUo occasionally read in the ears of a husband and wife who are aozioos to obtaia 


t A term of respect, meaning eicellent. 

t Sii stars, (belonging to nrsa major) said to be the wife* of sii of the sef^en risHees. These fenalei are called 
Knitika. They cherished Kartiii6y5 as soon as he was born in the forest ol writiog-reeds, and hence his name is a 
regular patronynaic of Kritiiko, becanse they were as his mothers. 

Of ths ^ovih-Vgnee.1 OFTHBHINDOOS^ S3 

•i-^Sburanuoii, (hesixrfaced. — Skundu, he who afflicts theg^iants. — tJgnibhoo, be who 
arose from Uguee. — Goobii, he who preserves his troops in war. — ^Tarukujit, he who 
conquered Tarokii. — Vishakhfi^ he who was born under the constellation of this name. 
— Shikhi-Tahunuy he who rides on a peacock.-^Shuktee-dhiiruy he who wields (he wea« 
pon called shukieo. — Koomaru, be who is perpetually young.^-^Krounchu-darunUy 
he who destroyed th6 giant Krounchu.. 

It is said that Kartik^y u was never married, but that Indru gave him a mistress 
named De vns^ua. He has no separate heaven^ nor has Gun^hu t they live with Shi vu- 
on mo unt Koilasiu 


THIS god is represented as a red corpulent man, with eyes, eye-brows, beard, anJ 
hair^ of a tawny colour. He rides on a goat ;. wears a poita^ and a necklace made 
with the fruits of eleocarpus ganitrus. From his body issue seven streams of glory^ 
and in his right hand he holds a spear. He is the son of Kusbyupuand Uditee» 


Ugnee has his forms of worship, meditation, &c. like other god&,. but is especially 
worshipped^ under different names, at the time of a burnt-offering, when clarified but« 
ter is presented to him. The gods are said to have two mouths^ viz* that of the bram* 
bun, and of fir e (Ugnee> 

At the full moon in the month Maghii^ when danger from fire is considerable, some 
persons worship this god before the image of Briimha with the accustomed ceremonies, 
for three days. When any particular work is to be done by the agency of fire, as 
when a kiln of bricks is to be burnt^ this god is worshipped i also when a trial by 
ordeal is to be performed. 

* Under sixteen jean of n^ev 

54 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGIdN, [Partiit. Chajp.i. 

Some bramhuns are distinguished hy the name sagniku, because they use tocred fii*e 
in all the cerefflonies in which this elemeut is used, from the time of birth to the burn- 
iug of the body after death. This fire is preserved in honour of the god Ugnee, and to 
make religious ceremonies more meritorious.* 


Ugriee as one of the guardian deities of the earth,4s 'worshipped at the commence* 
joient of every festival. He presides in the S. E. 

Bhrigoo, a sagniku bramhiin and a great sage, once cursed his guardian deity Ug« 
nee, because the latter had not delivered Blirigoo's wife from the hands of a giant, 
who attempted to violate her chastity when she was in a state of pregnancy. The 
child, however, sprang from her womb, and reduced the giant to ashes. Bhrigoo 
doomed the god to eat every thing. Ugnee appealed to the assembled gods, and Briim- 
Jia sooUied him by i)romising that whatever he ate should become pure. Ugnee was 
also once cursed by one of the seven riabeesj who turned him into cinders* 

Urjoonu^ the brother of Yoodhisthiru, at the entreaty of Ugnee, set fire to the forest 
Khundiivri, in order to cure him of a surfeit contracted in the following manner : Mii- 
rootu, a king, entered upon a sacrifice which occupied him twelve months, during the 
whole of which time clarified butter had been pouring on the fire, in a stream as thick 
is an elephant's trunk : at length Ugnee could digest no more, and he intreated tJrjoonu 
to burn this forest, that he might eat the medicinal plants and obtain his appetite again. 

Swaha^ the daughter of KushyupS, was married to Ugnee. Her name is repeated 
at the end of every incantation used at a burnt ofibring, as well as in some other ce- 
xemonies. The reason of this honour is attributed to Ugnee's uxoriousness. 

The heaven of thb god is called IJ^gnee-loku. H is principal names are : — Vunhee, 
or, he who receives the clarified b&tter in the burnt sacrifice (homu). — Veetihotru, 
he who purifies those who porform the homu. — Dhunfinjuyu, he who conquers (de- 

* There maj be soms resemblance in tbis to th« custom of the Romans in preacrviujii a perpetual fire in the tem- 
ple of V>»ta. 

Cr THB GODS— Pat>«»3.] OP THE HINDOOS. 55 

strop) riches. — Kripeetujonee, he -who is bom from rubbing two sticks together.—- 
4lwulnnri, he who burns. — ^Ugaee, he to whom fuel is presented. 


THIS ifi the god of the winds, and the messenger of the gods.* His mother Udi* 
tce> it is said, prayed to her husband, that this son might be more powerful than In« 
drn : her request was granted ; but ladri;, hearing of this, entered the womb of Udilee^ 
and cut the foetus, first into seven parts, and then each part into seven others. Thus. 
Puvunu assumed forty-nine forms. t He is meditated upon as a white man, sitting ott 
a deer, with a white flag in his right hand» 

Puvunu has no separate public festival, neither image, nor temple. As one of the 
ten guardian deitie^of the earth, he is worshipped, with the rest, at the commencement 
of every festival. He is said to preside in the N. W. Water is also offered to him 
in the daily ^ceremonies of the bramhuns ; and whenever a goat is offered to any deity^ 
a service is paid to Yayoo, another form and name of Piivuna. In the work called 
Udikuriinu-mala, a burnt sacrifice of the flesh of goats, { is ordered to be offered to 
this god^ 

The following story is related of Pavijnu in the Shree-bhagriviitu : On a certain oc- 
casion Nariidu paid a visit to Soomeroo,^ and excited his pride in such a manner^ 
that he protested the god Puvunu could not approach his summit. N^rudii carried th« 

* T can find no agreement betwixt thii god and either Mercury or iGoIos. 

t The forty-nine points. The Hindoos have 49 instead of St points, and the pooranBs, which conttin a itoiy 
•n every distinct fealuie of the Hindoo philosophy, have given (his faWe; and in the same manner, all the elemestft 
are personified, and si me remarkable story invented to account for their peculiar properties,. 

t The goat, it>iU be remembered, was slain in the sacTifioes of Bacchtm 

f The mountain of this name personified. 


fflcws of -Soomdroo^s in&olence (o Puvanu, and advised him to go and break down the 
•summit of Soom^roo, which, even to the depth of 800 miles below tlie surface, was of 
solid gold ; Puvimii went, and produced such a tempest, that the earth trembled to its 
centre ; and the mountain god, terribly alarmed, invoked Giirooru, who came to his re« 
lief, and^ covering the mountain with his wings, secured it from the wrath of Puvnnu. 
For twdve months, however, the storm raged so that the three worlds were hasten- 
ing to disstruction. The go4s desired Nariidu to prevail on Pii vunu io compose the 
difference with Soom^roo ; instead of complying with which the mbchievons rishee 
frent, and calling Puvunu a fool for exciting such a storm to no purpose, told him 
ihat as long as Gurooru protected the mountain with his wings, there was no hope ; 
t)ut that if he would attack Soom^roo when Gurooru was carrying Yishnoo out on a 
journey, he might easily be revenged* This opportunity soon occurred t All the gods 
1^330,000,000) were invited to Shivffs marriage with Parvutee, among whom were the 
mountains Soom6roo,Triko6tu, Ooduyn,* lJstn,t Vindhyu, Malyuvanii, Gundhuma* 
dunii, Chitrukootii, Muliiyu, Nilu, Moinakfij^ &c. Vishnoo, riding on Giireoru, also 
went to the marriage, and all the heavens were left empty. Seizing this opportunity, 
Puvunu flew to Soom6roo, and, breaking the summit of the mountain, burled it into 
ihe sea.^ 

Puvunu is charged with an adulterous intercourse with IJujiina, the wife of KeshO* 
ree, a monkey. The fruit of this intercourse was Ilunoomanu. 

Puvijnu was once inflamed with lust towards the hundred daughters of Kooshuna- 
bhn, a rajarshee, and because they refused his offers, he entered the body of each, 
and produced a curvature of the spine. They were made straight again by a king 
jiamed Briimhu-duttii, to whom they were ^riarried. 

The name of the heaven of this god is Yayoo-Ioku* His principal names axe : 

* MoanUins orer which the ion rises. f Behind which the sun sets. 

t Some of these belong to the snowy range aorlh of India, and others to (ho'-^ropical range dividing Sooth frott 
North India. These and other moanlains are personified, and by the Hindoo poets are designated as the residence 
4>f the gods, and bj poeticaMicence ranged among the inferior gods. 

$ Here it became the island of Ce^'lon, (Liinka). 

Of TEB eoi>»— rdroonJf.] OFTHEHINDOOS. « 

Shwusnnri, or, he who is the giver of breath. — Spurshunii, the toucher. — Vajoo, he 
vho travels. — MatTirlshwa, he who gave his mother sorrow.* — Prishudiishwa, he 
who rides on the deer. — Gundhrivuhn, he who carries odours.— Ashoogu, he who 
goes swiftly. — Marootu, without whom people die. — Nubhuswutu^lie who moves in the 
air. — ^Puvuaii, the purifier. — Prubhungjuuii, the breaker. 



THIS is the god of the waters. His image is painted white ; he sits on a sea-animal 
called mukiiri], with a ropet in his right hand, 

Yuroonii^s name is repeated daily in the worship of the bramhuns ; but bis image 
is never made for worship, nor has he any public festival or temple in Bengal. He 
is worshipped however as one of the guardian deities of the earth ; and also by those 
who farm the lakes in Bengal, before they go out a fishing ; and in times of drought 
people repeat his name to obtain rain, j: 

A story of. this god is contained in the Pudmu pooranu to this purport: Rarunu 
was once carrying an iinadee-lingu from Himaluyfi to Lunka,^ in order that he might 
accomplish all his ambitious schemes against the gods, for it was the property of 
this stone, also called kamu|{-lingu, to grant theworshipper all his desires, whate- 

* VThf n lodr^ cut Iiud into forty-nine pieces in the womb. 

t Thif weapon It caHed pasbfi, and bas this propertj, thai whomsoerer it catches, it binds so fast that he can 
nerer get loose. All the gods, giants, raishtlsISs, &c. learn the ase of this weapon. 

I At the time of a dronght, it is common for bramhiins to sit in crowds by the sides of the Qnuges, or any othef 
iWeTaand address their piajersto this god. Abramh&u once informed me that be remembered when Krisbn5* 

Ch&ndrtt, the raja of N&vft-dweepR, gave presents to Tast ranliitndes of brambSns thos employed ; and that in the 

midst of their prayersi Vftrooutl sent a plentiful snpply of rain. 

§ Ceylon; 1 Kamtt means desire. 



rer they might be. Shivu, hoA?ever, when permitting Ravunu to rcmore this hit 

image to Liinka, made him promise that wherever he sufFored it (o touch the ground, 
there it should remain. When the gods saw that Ravunu was carrying this stone to 
Lunka, all the heavens were in a state of agitation ; for the gods knew, that if Ravunu 
could be permitted to accomplish his wishes, neither Indrii nor any other god would 
continue oik his throne. Council after council was held, and applications made to 
diflerent go:ls in Vain. Tt was at last resolved that Vuroonu should enter the belly of 
R'.ivunu, who would thereby be compelled to set the stone down, while discharging his 
urine* Vuroonu accordingly entered the belly of Ravunii, as he was carrying the 
lingu on his head ; and the latter soon began to feel the effects of his vi^it. His belly 
swelled prodigiously, — he proceeded however on his journey, till at last he could wait 
ho longer. At this moment Indru, in the form of an old bramhun, meeting him, 
Ravunu, after asking who he was, and where he was going, entreated him to hold the 
liiigii for a short time, promising to bestow on him the greatest favours ; to which 
the bramhun conscuted, agreeing to hold the stone an hour, but no longer. Ravunii 
told him heiYOU-Id not detain him half that time; and squatted on his hams to rid 
himself of Vuroonri. After he had thus sat for four hours, thebramhiin complaining he - 
could hold the stone no longer, threw it down— when the lower part sunk into the world 
of the hydras^ and the top is said to be visible to this day at Voidyfi-nat'hu, a place in 
the zillah of Beeibhoom, where the river Khursoo is believed to have arisen from the 
urine of this enemy of the gods.t Raviinu, when he arose, and saw what had taken 
place, went home full of rage and disappointment : some accounts add, that he went 
and fought with the gods in the most furious manner.. ' 

The Leaven of this god, called Vuroonu-loku, is 800 miles in circumference, and 
was formed by Vishwiikurma, the divine architect. In the centre is a grand canal of 
pure water. Vuroonu, and his queen Varoonee, sit on a throne of diamonds ; and 

* Raviintt could Dot hold the liug&wbi'«; in this act, as a person hereby becomes unclean antll be has bathed. 
This is the strict rule of the shastrft: ai present, however, should a person. In the midst of his worship, be compd* 
led to discharge urine, he does not bathe, bot onlj changes his clothes^ 

t The Hindoos do not drinli the water of this riveri Imii bathe inanddriok the waterof a paol tberf» which \htj 
have called N&vtt-g^ga, v]^ the New GCkoga. 


Ow T»» COD! — FUroonU,^ 



around them the court, among ^hom are Sumoodrii, Gunga, and other river gods and 
goddesses;* thetwelveAdityos, and other deities; the hydras; Oiravutu; the doit jiis; 
Chedanavijs, &c. The pleasures of this heaven consist in the gratification of the senses, 
as in the heavens of Indrii and others. There does not seem to be a vestige of an/ 
thing here, but what would exactly meet the wishes of a libertine. 

A scene in the heaven of Furoonu t—JSimce, a king, invited VTishibhVhu to pre- 
lideas priest over the ceremonies at a sacrifice he was about to perfonu. Vushish- 
fhfi being engaged at that time as priest to perform a^sacrifice for some other king, 
from whom he expected very large presents, Excused himself for the present ; when Ni* 
mee, after using entreaty in vain, employed another sage as priest. Vushisth'ha hav- 
ing concluded the sacrifice in which he was engaged, » proceeded to the palace of Ni- 
mee ; but hearing that the king had employed another pricsl, was filled with rage, 
and pronounced a curse on the king, by which he was reduced to ashes. Before the 
curse took effect, however, the ki^g cursed Vushisht'hii, and reduced his body also to 
ashes. The soiri of Ynshisht^hu ascended to Brfimha, to enquire how he was to procure 
a body again. Brumha said, * Go to the gods Vuroonii and Sooryu.' fie went and 

obtained his body in the following manner: Sooryfi, captivated with the sight of 
Oorviishee,^ a courtezan, as she was dancing in Indrii^s heaven, invited her to his 
house. As she was going, Vuroonu met her, and became enamoured of her also. [ Here 
the story becomes too filthy to be written. ]. From the inflamed passions of 

these two gods, Ugnstyu, an eminent ascetic, was bom, and Vushisht'hu^ one of the 
most exalted of the Hindoo saints, obtained a new body. The priests who had been 
employed by Nimee, fearing they should lose all employment hereafter if they suffer- 
ed the king thus to perish^ at the close of the sacrifice formed from the ashes a young 
man, to whom they gave the name of Junuku, who became the father of Seeta, the wife 

The meaning of the name Vilroonu is, he who surrounds. — This god is also called 
Pruch6ta, or the wise. — Pashee, he who holds a rope. — Yadusang-putee, (he lord of 
the watery tribes. — ^Uppntee^ the lord of waters. 

* Among ihes* deitiei are included gods of wells, pools, laVes, bavins, whirlpools, &c. 

H « 


QQ HISTORY, LITERATURE, xw RELIGION, [Part iif. Ciulp. i. 



Til IS god is called the holy king, ^ho judges the dead. His image is that Of » 
green man^ with red garments ; inflamed eyes ; haying a crown on his head, and a flower 
stuck in his hair ;* silting on a buffs^loe, with a club in bis right hand. His dreadful 
teeth, glim aspect^ and terrific shape, fill the inhabitants of the three worlds with ter«- 

An annual festival is held in honour of Yumu on the second day of the moon's inr 
crease in the month Kartiku, when an image of clay is made, and worshipped with the 
usual ceremonies for one day, and then thrown into the river » No Uoody sacrifices- 
are offered to this god. 

Yumu is also worshipped at the commencement of other festivals as one of Ihe-tett 
guardian deities of the earth. He presides in the South. 

Every' day the Hindoos offer water to Yiimii, in the ceremony called tfirpuau^as 
well as annually on the 14th of the month Ugruhayunu^ when they repeat several 
^ of his names* 

At the time of other festivals the Hindoos sometimes make an image of the mother 
of Yumri,t and worship it. At other times children in play make this image^ and 
pretend to worship it. 

* It ii very common to see a flower, which has been presented to an image» itock iu the banch of hair which iht 
Hindoos tic behind the head. This is done nnder the idea that the flower has some virtiK in it Several shastrflt 
prescribe this practise, and promise rewards to- the pcrstjn who places in his hair flowers which have been presented 
to his guardian deity, or to any other god. 

t A very old woman who is at the same time a great scold, is called by the Hindoos the mother bf YOmS. ~ 


Or THB oOM— Fdmd.1 OF THE BINSOOS. 81 

Oathe first of the montl^ Kartiku^ a curious ceremoDj takes place in every part of 
Bengal s the unmarried girls of each house engage a near relation to dig a small pit 
near the front of the house, atthe four x^orncrs of which they sow rice, or barley, or 
wheat, and plant some stalks of the plantain or othei; tree. They also plant other bran« 
ches in the midst of the pit. The place being thus prepared, eyery morning for a 
month, these girls, after putting^on clean apparel, and sprinkling their heads with the 
water of the Ganges to purify themselves, present flowers^ &c. to Yiimii by the side 
of this small pit, repeating an incantation. Each day they put a single kouree* in an 
earthen pot, and at the end of the ceremony present the thirty kourees U> the person 
who dug the pit. They perform this ceremony to procure from Yumii either hus- 
baods, or sons, or happiness, and also that they may escape punishment after death » 

I have heard of some HindooS) who, rejecting the worship of other gods, worship 
only Yumu, alleging that their future state is to be determined only by Yumu, and 
that they have nothing therefore to hope oi to fear from any beside him. 

Yumu is judge of the dead^ He is said to hold a eourt, in which he presides as 
judge, and has a person to assist him, called Chitru-gooptu,t who keeps an account 
of the actions of men. A number of officers are also attached to the court, who bring 
the dead to be judged. If the deceased persons have been wicked, Yumu sends them 
to their particular hell, or if good, to some place of happiness. The poor Hindoos^ 
at the hour of death, sometimes fancy they see Yumu's officers, in a. frightful shape, 
Mming to fetch them away.. 

Ynmu is said to reside at Yumaluyri, on the south side of the earth, j: All souls^ 
wherever the persons die, are supposed to go to Yumii in four hours and forty nii* 
Butes ; and a dead body cannot be burnt. till ^hat time have elapsed. 

^ SMU fromllM MaMtve itlttdi wldcb patt^for money in Bengal. Moi^ tban «< thousand of tbete •helli ma/ 
ke boBght lor a roopec. 

t That if, be who paints in leeret ; or he wbo writei the fates ot men in secnCr 

i One Hindoo seaetiniea jokes with another, by asking him where he is going, as he seemi to be proceeding: 

•2 HISTORY, LITEEATUBE, awd RELIGION, [Pabtiii. Chap.i* 

The following account of Yumaluyu, and of Voituriinee, the river to be ttasKd 
after death, is taken from the Miihabhariitu : After Brumha had created the three 
worlds, viz. heaven, earth, and patulu, he recollected that a place for jadgment, and 
for the punishment of tlie wicked. Was wanting. He therefore called Vishwukurma, 
(he architect of the gods, and gave him orders to prepare a very superb palace. Op- 
posite the south door Vishwukurma made four pits for the punishment of the wicked. 
Three other doors were reserved for the entrance of the good, that they might not 
lee the place of punishment when they went to be Judged. Brumha, taking with him 
the gundhurviis, the giants, &c. went to see the place, and gave it the name of Siinjee- 
vunee. The giindhiirvus asked Brumha to give them this beautiOil palace. Brumha 
asked them ii Ihey were willing to inflict the punibhments on the wicked ; to which 
they replied in the negative. The giants were next about to seize the place by force, 
to prevent which Brumha ordered Viishwukurma to form a vast trench around, and to 
fill it with water, which became the river Voiturunee. Brumha next ordered Ugnee to 
enter the river, and tbe waters became hot. Having thus siirromided the hall of judg- 
meat with a river of boiling water, ihe creator ordered, that after death each one should 
be obliged to swim across. This, however, subjected the good to panishment, to pre- 
vent which, it was ordained that the offering of a black cow to a bramhun should 
eool the river, and render the person's passage easy.* it was still necessary, that 
some one should occupy this place, and jildge the dead, and Brumha assigned this 
work to Yiimui. 

The Ramayunii contains the following story about Yumii : Soon after Gunga came 
down to the earth, Yiimu was very angry with the gods,* as she left him nothing to 
do in liis office of judge, all the people, however sinful, through her power, ascending 
to heaven. His officers. In a rage, were about to give up their places and leave him. 
On applying to Indrn, he advised hipi not to place hb messengers in any situation 
where the wind, passing oyer Giinga, blew, for that all persons touched even by the 
wind of this sacred river had all their sins removed, and would go to heaven.f 

* I do no» find that the Hindoos have any rerrvman, like Charon, or boat to cross this river, thoogh they talk 
of cri ssing it by laying bold of the tail of the black cow wbiob ibe.v offered in order Co oblaiu a aafe pastage. It ia 
very xommou iti Bengal fur a herdsman to cross a river by taking hold of a cow's tail. 

t Whatever the Hindoos may think of Gfinga's taking away their sins, it is acknowledged by all, tbattbf in* 
babitantB who live oa the banks of the Gan>/es ore the most corrupt and profligate of all the Hijiduoa. 

Or TBS GODS.— Htmli.] 



Many other stories are to be found in the pooranus, some of them supposed to be re« 
lafed by persons ivho have been at Yumalujfi : the two following are of this descrip- 
tion : In a certain village lived two persons of the same name : one of whom bad lived 
out his whole time^ the other had many years to live. Chitru-goopta^ examining his 
register^ sent Yumd's messengers to fetch the person whose appointed time was ex- 
pired ; the messengers went, but brought the wrong person. On re-examining his re- 
cords, Chitrn-gooptu found out the mistake, and directed the officers to hasten back 
with the soul before the relations had burnt the body. While at Yumaluyu, this person 
looked all around, and saw, in one place, the punishments inflicted on the wicked: 
Yumu*s officers were chastising scnne, by casting them into pits of ordure ; others^ by 
throwing them into the arms of a red hot image of a woman ;* others, by making 
their bellies immensely large, and their mouths as small as the eye of a needle ; others, 
by feeding them with red hot balls ; others, by throwing them into pits filled with de- 
vouring worms and insects, or with fire. In other places he saw those who had 
practised severe mortifications living in a state of the greatest magnificence ; and wo- 
men who had been burnt on the funeral pile, sitting with their husbands, enjoying 
the greatest delights. As he was coming away, be saw preparations making for the 
reception of some one in the highest style of grandeur^ and asked the messengers 
who was to. enjoy this. The messengers replied that it was for one of his neighbours, 
a very holy man, whose appointed time was nearly expired^, and who^ in fact^ died 
soon afterwards. 

A story very similar to this is often related of a person named priliirararv of the 
voidyiicast^ who lived some years ago at Choopee, near Niideeja. This man, to all 
appearance, died ; and was lying by the side of the Ganges, while his relations were 
collecting the wood and other materials to burn the body. Before the fire was lighted, 
however, the body began to move, and in a little while, the dead man- arose, and 
told his friends of his having been carried by mistake to Yumalnyfi^ where he saw 
terrific sights of the punishments of the wicked. This man lived fifteen years after 
this journey to Yumu's palace. 

* This instrbment is sied for the poniibment of adulterers. When Ravttntt was carrying offSeeta bj forcc^ 
die fcmioded him, that for thii cnme he would have to go into the barning arms of this idMige after death. 

6*4 illSTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part iii. Chap, t. 

The following story was invented, no doubt, in order to check excessive sorrow for 

deceased relations* ' A rich biamhim had only one son,"who grew up to m&nhood, 

and was loved almost to distraction by his parents.* This son, however, died in his 

youth, and his wife was burnt with him on the funeral pile. The father and mother 

were so overwhelmed with distress, that for years they refused all comfort. During 

this time, an old servant, who had sei'ved the bramhim many years, and had eaten of 

his food,+ died, and, for his merit, was made one of YiimiVs officers. This man 

•was going one day to fetch the soul of some one from the village where he had once 

lived, and saw his former master weeping by the side of (he road for the loss of his son. 

Assuming his old form, he raised up his master, i^nd endeavoured to comfort him, but 

in vain. He.then told him, thathe was become one of Yumii^s officers, on account 

of the merit he had obtained by serving him (the bramhun) and eating of his food ; 

and that now, to remove his sorrow, he would take him and shew him his son. The 

old man got on his back, and the officer immediately carried him to the residence of 

Yumii, and shewed him his son and daughter-in-law in the greatest happiness, sur« 

rounded with every delight, playing at chess. Bu t the son having lost all nfFectioa 

for his parent would not even look at him, though exhorfed to it by his wife. He 

replied, that in numerous transmigrations it was very likefy that this old man might 

have been his son again and again. The old man was so incensed, to see that his 

daughter-in-law had more affection for him than his own son, for whom he was dying 

with grief, that he desired the constable to carry him back. The old bramhunee 

would not believe that her sou^s affections were thus alienated from them : the con- 

stable, therefore, carried hqr also to see him, but she met with the same treatment. 

They both immediately renounced their grief for a son who had lost all his filial 

afffection, and resolved to think no more about him. 

Other stories abound in the pooranus respecting Yumn, some of which relate to 
disputes betwixt the messengers of this god and those of some other god, about the 

• The Hindoos in general carry their attachment to children, especial!/ to ?on$, to the greatest excess.— They 
are amazed at the supposed want of affection in Earopeans, t»ho leave their parents in order lo traversV foreign conn- 
tries, some of them without the hope of ever seeing them again. 

t Its a very merltorioas action for a shoodrii to eat the leavings of a bramhiin. Uence a 6h&odr& will serve a 
bramh&n for rather less wages than another persoo. 

CrT«EO0D3.— JIJbi!}.] of the HINDOOS. OS 

«oul of a departed person, whether it shall be happy or miscTable. I insert two of 
these stories : When the sage Unimanduvyri was a child of five years old, he put a 
straw info itlie tail of a locu^, and let it fly away. In advanced years, while once 
employed in performing religious austerities, he was seized as a thief by the officers of 
jastice, and, as be gave no answer on his trial, the king took it for granted that he was 
guilty, and ordered him to be impalcd« After* he had been impaled four years, his body 
had undergone no change, and though he appeared perfectly insensible to human 
pbjects, he was evidently alive. The king, being informed of this, was filled with 
ftftonishmenf, and declared that he was certainly some great ascetic, equal to one of 
the gods. He then immediately ordered him to be taken down, but in endeavouring 
to extract the wood upon which he had been impaled, it broke within his body. 
The sage was then suffered to depart, ^nd, after some time, his religious abstraction 
sras interrupted, though his mind had been so set upon his god, that neither impaU 
ing him for four years, nor breaking the stake within his body, had disturbed his 
intense devotion. On awaking from this state be discovered what bad been done 
to him, and that he had suffered all this from the hands of Yumii, for having pierced 
the locust when he was a child. He was exceedingly angry with Yumu for such 
unrighteous judgment* To punish a person lor a sin committed at the age of five 

years, and for so small a crime to impale him for four years, was what he could not 
bear. He then cursed Yiimu, and doomed him to be born on earth, and to take the 
name of Vidoorii, thefipn of a seryant girl in the house of the mother of Vwu-vya- 
««• — How the administration of justice in the other world was carried on after Yii- 
mii assumed human birth, this story does not relate. What an excellent religion for 
a wicked man ! The criminal can punish his judge ! 

Ujamilu bad committed the most enormous crimes, having killed cows and brarn* 
buns, drank spirits, and lived in the practice of evil all his days. He had four sons ; 
the name of one was Narayrmfi. In the hour of death Ujamilu was extremely thirsty, 
and thus called to bis son— *Naroyunu, Narayiinu, Naraynnr?, give me some water.' 
After liis dqpease, the messengers of Yurou seized bjm, and were about to drag hitn, 
to a place of punishment, when Vishnoo's messengers came to rftcue him. A furi- 
ous battle ensued, but Vishnoo's messengers were victorious, and carried off Ujami- 


60 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part in. Cuap.i. 

lu to Voikoontu, the heaven of Vishrioo. The messengers of Yumu enraged, returned 
to their master, threw their clothes and staves at his feet, and declared that thejr would 
serve him no longer, as they got nothing but disgrace in all thej did. Yilmu ordered 
Chitrri-goopta, the recorder, to examine his books. He did so, and reported that 
this Ujamilu had been a most notorious sinner, and that it was impossible for him to 
reckon up his sins, they were so numerous. Yumu hastened to Voikoontu, and de- 
manded of Vishnoo an explanation of this affair. Vibhnoo reminded him, that however 
wicked this man might have been, he had repeated the nameNarayunu in his last mo- 
ments; and that he (Yumu) ought to know, that if a man, either when laughing, or 
by accident, or in anger, or even in derision, repeated the name of Vishnoo, he would 
certainly go to heaven though, like Ujamilr, covered with crimes, he had not a single 
metitorious deed to lay in the balance against (hem.-— This is the doctrine that is uni- 
versally maintained by the great body of the Hindoos : hence, when a person in a dy* 
iiig situation is brought clown to the river side, he is never exhorted to repentance, 
but is urged in his last moments to repeat the names of certain gods, as his passport 
to heaven. A Hindoo shop-keeper one day declared to the author that he should live 
in the practice of adultery, lying, &c. till death, and that then, repeating the name 
of Krishnu, he should, without difEcuUy, ascend to heaven. How shocking this sea* 
timentl How dreadful this mistake t 

Description of the heaven of YUmiiffrom the Muhalhar^tu, This heaven, formed 
by Vishwukurma, is &00 miles in circumference. From hence are excluded the fear 
of enemies, and sorrow both of body and mind ; the climate is mild and salubrious ; 
and each one is rewarded in kind, according to his works : thus, he who has given 
much, away on earth, receives afar greater quantity of the same things in heaven. 
He who has not been liberal, will have other kinds*of happiness, and will see food, 
houscF, lands, &c. but will receive nothing. All kinds of excellent food are here 
heaped up iuto mountains.* To this heaven have been raised a great number of 
Hindoo kings, whose names are given in (he Muhabharutii. The pleasures of this 
heaven are tike those of Indrli-pooru : the senses are satiated with grAifications as 
gross as tlxc writer of this pooranu, the Uceutious Vyasu, could make them,. 

* Tbis seems to be a heaven (or glattonsf 

Of THi con«— ri{«».] OF THE HINDOOS. 67 

Yiimu married Vijayii, the daughter of Veeru, a bramhun. The Bhfivishjut poo- 
raiiii contains the following storj respecting this marriage : YHmu was so pleased ' 
with thi« female, on account of her having performed the Boodbashturaee vrfilii, 
that he>appdEtred to her, and offered her marriage. She was alarmed at the sight 
of this stranger, and asked him who he was. When she found it was Yumu, the 
jadge of the dead^ who was thus paying his addresses to her, she was filled with 
terror. Yumii calmed her fears, and permitted her to acquaint her brother/as he 
would be full of distress after her departure if he were left in ignorance. Ilcr 
brother told her she was certainly mad — * What to be married to Yiimu ! A fine 
husband truly !' She however consented, and Yumfi conveyed her to his palace, but 
charged her never to go to the southwards. She suspected that there Yiimu had ano- 
ther favourite, and would not be satisfied till he had explained to her, that his reasons 
for forbidding her to go southwards, were, that there the wicked were punished, and 
that she would not be'^ble to bear so dreadful a sight. All these warnings, however, 
were given in vain : while Ynmii was one day busy, she took another female or two, 
and went southwards, till the cries of the damned had nearly terrified her to distracti- 
on. To add to the horror of the scene, she saw her mother in torments. On her return, 
' Yiimu found her in a state of the greatest distress, and soon discovered the cause. She 
insisted on Yumu's delivering her mother that very day, or he should see her face 
no more. Yumii declared this to be impossible ; that her own bad conduct 
had brought her there, and that she could only be delivered according to the forms 
of the shastrr?, after suffering the punishment due to her. Vijuyii became impa« 

tient and clamorous; till Yumu told her^ that ifshe could get the merit of the Boo- 
dbastumee vrutu transferred to her by some one, she might deliver her mother. Yiimu 
further informed her, that on earth a certain queen, who had performed the Boodhash- 
tumee vriitii, had been three days in the pains of child-birth, and that ifshe would 
perform a certain ceremony, which he described to her, the queen would be delivered, 
and would in return transfer the merits of this vrutu to her mother, who would imnie- 
diately be delivered from torments. Vijuy u took this advice, and thu«s procured the 
deliverance ot her mother from hell. 



Yamu's principal names are : Dhannu-raju,.or, the boly king.— ^Pitripatee, the lord 
of the ancients. — ^Sumuvurttee,. he wha judges impartiall/. — ^Pr6tU'«rat,.theIordof tlie 
dead. — Kritantu, the destroyer. — Yiimoona-bhrata, the brother of Yutn/K>iia.*^"-^9h&» 
munii, he who levels all. — Yumii-rat, the chief of the fourteen YnauB.f -^Yumiiy te 
^ho takes out of the world .—Kalu^ lime. — Diindudhuru^ he who holds the rod of pu» 
nishment.— Shraddhu-d^vu, the god of the ceremonies paid to deceased ancestors ; or,. 
he who eats his share of the shraddhu. — ^Voivuswutui the son of Vimwut^ or^ SaSrjtu.. 
— -untukii, he who kilb^ or puts an end to life» 


Tht worship of the «^ Hosi of IleeteenJ^ 

THE Hindoos, like other idolatrous nations, bave gone inlo^ the worship of the 
heavenly bodies. The planets, the constellations, the signs of the zodiac, the stars 
in general, the star Canopus^ the star KakVpoorooshii, &c. have all been deifiecF,* 
and are worshipped with appropriate forms of petition, praise, &c. some of them at 
the festivals of other gods, and others at diffisrent times.^ The constelt^tions are wor*- 
shipped separately at the births of children, as well as at the annivetsariea of these 
births till the time of death. 

Some persons suppose, that the worship of the elements was the primitive idoIa«^ 
try of the Hindoos, and that of heroes the invention of later times. It is plain, how<» 
ever, that the v£dus, supposed io be the most ancient of the Hindoo writings, coun*^ 
tenance the worship of deified heroes. These books contain accounts of Brnmhay 
Vishnoo, and Sbivii, and most of the other deities. A paragraph in the Rig^v^da 
speaks of the gods choosing Indru to be their king, whom they placed on a throne faa« 

• The river YSmoona. 

t Yumu hastbirteeo assistants, whose names are here gWcn as different namfs of this judge c^f the dead. 

X Called bj the Hindoos Ug)>i>(!i, the sage. 

O* tm fio j>»— ^ I*tf Host of Heaoen.^1 OFTHE HINDO OS. 69 

eifully canatracted viith texts of the vUA, Amongst all the gocU none ai:e charged 
^Hik greater crimes than Indriiy who seduced the ivife of his spiritual guide ; indeed^ 
from a Tariei; of facts it is highly probable, that to the y^dus we are to attribute 
Ae foandfttion of this whole fabric of superstition* These books contain prayers 
to procure the destruction of enemie^^ as well as encourage the burning of widows 
alive,* which is surely a far greater crime than any thing done in the presence of 
the images of Ramii or Krishniu The ancient idolatry therefore, seems to have been 

as corrupt as any thing practised at present. Is it not probable that the hiMrrid 

worship of Uoloch was really that of the dement of fire? 

f do not find^ however, that the heavenly bodies are worshipped on the tops of 
fcousesi as appears to have been the case among those nations from whom the Jews 
learnt their idolatry r It is said of Man^sseh^ that ^ he worshipped all the host of 
beaven, and served them/ Josiab, the son of Manasseh, put down all that burnt 
incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the 
host of heaven. By the prophet Jeremiah, God threatens, that the people shall bring 
out thelx>nes of the king of JuJab, of the princes, priests, prophets and people, and 
adds,^ And they shall spread them before the sun, the moon, and all the host of hea? 
Ten, whom they have served ; they shall not be gathered nor be buried ; they shall 
be for dung upon the face of the earth. By the prophet Zephaniab, God threatens 
to cut (^ them ^ that worship the host of heaven upon the house-tops.' Stephen, in 
feheaising the history of the children of Israel before the Jewish council, declares^ 
that God formerly gave .up their forefathers to worship the host of heaven, and mea« 
tions among other objects of worship the star of Ihe gad Rempban. 


This worship,i which has been so general among heathen nation?, seems to have 
originated in judicial astrology, and in tlie belief that the heavenly bodies have a 
great influence upon human events. Hindoos, whose birth under a supposed evil 
planet has been ascertained, are often filled with melancholy ; some, abandon them« 
selves to despair, careless of what becomes of an existence connected with such omens. 

* " O firejet these women, with bocBet anointed with fhee, eyes (coloared) wiih stibium and rold orteaiT,eoter the 
parent of wattr.that they may not he separ^ttid IVooi ih^Ir husbaudsi oiay be in imiun with excellent busbaadf^ bt 
su;Ie»s, and be jewels among wQmea.' Rigtiiid, 

70 HISTORY, LITERATURE, Am RELIGION, [Partiii. Ciuf. i. 

The reader will perceive, in reading the account of Saturn, io what a degree the Hin« 
doos dread the influence of this planet, especiallj at the time when it is in a certain 
sign. Against fears of this kind the prophet Jeremiah warned the Jews : * I>eam not 
the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the heathen 
are dismayed at them.' 


The worship of the Nine Griih&Sj^ or Planets. 

AT the great festivals a small offering is presented to all the planets at once ; but 
except on these occasions they are never worshipped together. -They are, however, 
frequently worshipped separately by the sick or unfortunate, who suppose themselves 
to be -under the baneful influence of some planet. At these times the nine planets are 
worshipped, one after tlie other, in regular succession. The ceremonies consist of the 
common forms of worship before other images, and close with a bornt-ofiehng to 
each planet. 

To Sooryn are offered in the burnt sacrifice small pieces of the shrub iirku;t to 
Chundrii, those of the pulashu \X to Mars, those of the khudiru \S to Mercury, those 
of the upamargii ;|| to Jupiter, those of the usbwitrhu;* to Venus, those of the 
ooroombiiru ; to Saturn, those of the shumee ;+ to Rahoo, blades of dd5rva grass ; 
and to Kitoo, blades of kooshu grass* 

In honour of Sooryn boiled rice mixed witli molasses is burnt ; milk is to be mix* 
ed with the rice offered to Clumdrfr; with that to Mars, curds ; with that to Mercury, 
clarified butter; to Jupiter is offered frumenty ; to Venus, boiled ric^ alone ; to Sa- 
turn, various kinds of food ; to Rahoo, goat's flesh or fish ; to K6too, blood from the 
car of a goat, mixed with rice. 

* These stars are called gr&hl&s, becaose they make known to people good and evil. 

t Asclepias gigantis. | Butea frondosa. $ Mimosa catechu. | Acbynnthes 

aspera. * Ficus religiosa. t Mimosa albida. 

Of THE COM.— Bifwe.] OF THE HINDOOS. 71 

The image of Soorju is to be a round piece of mixed metal, twelve fingers in diame- 
ter ; iLtat of Ciiuiidru is to be like a half moon, a cubit from end to end ; that of Mars, 
a triangular piece of metal measured by the thickness of six fingers ; that of Mercury, 
agoldea bow measuring the thickness of two fingers from one extremity to the other; 
that of Jupiter like a flower of the water*lily ; that of Venus, a four-square piece of 
silver ; that of Saturn, an iron scymitar ; that of Rahoo, an iron mukuru ; and that of 
K6too, an iron snake. 

The fees accompanying the worship of the different planets are various : at that of 
Sooryn, a milch cow ; of Chundru, a shell ; of Mars, a bull : of Mercury, a morsel of 
gold ; of Jupiter, a piece of do' h ; of Venus, ahorse; of Saturn, a black cow; of 
Rahoo, a piece of iron ; and of K6too, a goat » 

When the ofiiciating bramhun performs the worship of separate planets, he must 
put on vestments of divers colors, and offer different kinds of flowers. 


Ruxee^* the sun', 

THIS god, the son of Kushyupr, the sage, is painted red. He holds a water-lily 
in each hand, and riJes in a chariot drawn by seven yellowt horses. 

Ruvee as one of the planets is worshipped only at the great festivals. The Jyo- 
tish-tutwii sayF, that if a person be born under the planet Riivee, he will possess an 
anxious mind, be subject to disease and other sufferings, be an exile, a prisoner, and 
endure much sorrow from the loss of his wife, children, and property. 

This god has beea already noticed under the name of Scoryu; but in that ac- 

• Hence Rlfee-varft, or Sunday. t Not jjreen, as mentioned by Mr. Maurice. 

71 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGIOX, [Paet hi. Cuap. i. 

count several particulars ^ere omitted bj mistake; and which I insert here, (hough 
they properly belong to another form of this idol : While bathing, the Hindoos re- 
peat certain incantations, in order to bring the waters of all (he holy places in the 
heaven of this god info the spot where they arc Standing, and thus obtain the merit of 
bathing not only in Gunga, but in all the sacred rivers, &c. in the heaven of Sooryii. 
After bathing too the Hindoos make their obeisance to this god in a standing posture; 
the more devoui draw up their joined bands to the forehead, gaze at the sun, make 
prostration to him, and then turn round seven times, repeating certain forms of 
petition and praise. On these occasions they hold up water in their joined hands^ 
and then ^ pour out a drink*'ofiering* to the sun^ 

When the terrific being which sprung out of ShiviVs bunch of hair went with all 

the bhddtus^ &c. to destroy Dakshu^s sacrifice, all the gods being present, this monster 

seized on Sooryu and knocked out histoeth : in consequence, at the time of worship, 

only soft things, as flour, &c. are now offered io this god, such as a toothless old man 
might eat. 

Sooryu is charged in the Mnhabharutfi with ravishing Koontee, a virgin, from 
whence Kornnu, a giant, was born. 


Soma,^ or CMndrH^ the moon. 

THE image of Somu is that of a while man, drawn by ten horses, or sitting on the 
water-lily. With bis right hand be is giving a blessing, and in the other he holds a 




In the work called tJ^dhikuriiniVmala, a sacrifice is oidered to be performed to Somu> 

and the worshipper is promised ti place in the heaven of this god. 


* Hence Som1l-Tarik> or Monday. 


All the Hindoo ceremonies are regulated by the rising or selling, the \raxing^ or 
waning of the raoou. The Jyotish-tutwu says, If a person be born under the planet 
Somu, he will have many friends; \Yill possess elephants, horses, and palanqueens ; 
be honourable and powerful ; will live upon excellent food ; rest on superb couches^ 

A race of Hindoo kings are said to have descended from Somu hf Kohinee,* and 
are called the children of the moon. The first of these was Bcodbu, and the forty- 
sixth Yoodhist'hirii^ 

This god on a certain occasion was forcibly carried aii^ay by Gurooru, the bird on 
which Vishnoo rides, and delivered up to the giants. The giants, anxious to become 
immortal, as well as the god?, premised Gurooru that4f be would bring the moon 
by force, so that they might drink the nectar, supposed io exist in the bright parts 
of that planet, they would deliver his mother from the curse pronounced against her 
by her son Uroonr, by which she had been doomed to become the slave of her sii^ter. 
Gurooru soon seized the god, and placed him trembling among the assembled giants; 
but while the latter were gone to bathe, and prepare for partaking of the waters of 
immortality, Indru arrived and delivered the captive, and thus disappointed these 
implacable ^emies of the gods. 

Somu is charged with seducing the wife of Yrihijsputee, his preceptor. See the next 

The chief names of this god are : Somu, or, he from whom the water of immorta- 
lity springs. — Himangshoo, he whose beams are cooling. — Chiindru, he at whose ris* 
ing people rejoice.— Indoo, the great.— Koomoodu-bandiivn, the friend of the flower 
Koomoodii.f — Vidhoo, he who causes the gods to drink the v, ater of life. — Soodhang- 
^hoo, he whose rays are as the water of life.i^O&hKdheeshf?, the lord of medicinal 
plants. — Nibhaputee^ the lord of night. — Ubjr?, he who was born from the waters.— 

• The lljadcs. 

1 Njrniphaca Ioto5. After the rising of the odood this flower is taid bj the Iliodoos to expand. 


74 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, ^ [Part in. Chap. i. 

Joivatrikfi, the preserver of men. — Glou, he who decreases. — Mrigrankfi, he on \Yho8e 
lap sits a deer.* — Kulanidhee, he with whom are the krilas.+— Dwijuraju, the chief of 
the bramhuns. — Nukshuti6shu, the lord bf the plane(s.-*K&hupakuru^ he who illu« 
mines the night. 

SECTION xvir. 

Munguluy^ or Mars. 

Til IS god is painted red ; rides on a sheep ; wears a red necklace and garments of 
the same colour ; and has four arms : in one hand he holds a weapon called shuk- . 
tee ; with another he is giving a blessing ; with another forbidding fear ; and in the 
fourth he holds a club. 

If a per&on be bom under the planet Mungulu, he will be full of anxious thoughts, 
be wounded with ofi'cnsive weaponsj be imprisoned, be oppressed with fear from rob* 
beis^ fire, &c. and will lose his lands, trees, and good name. — Jyoiish'tHtwii^ 


BoodhujS or Mercury. 

THIS god has four arms : in one hand he holds the discus, in anotlier a club, in 
another a scymit^r, and with the fourth is bestowing a blessing. He rides on a lion; 
is of a placid countenance ; and wears yellow garments. 

* See a sto^ of the birth of fioodhft in the following page. 

t Kfila is the one 16th part cf ihe disk of ihe ir.oo/i, y.'x. quantity i^bii h it increases or decreases in one daj. 

% MSoglkl^-Tartt, or Tuesday. A!fingftl& is ca!kd Ungar&kSi or, he who traTels ; Koojft, the son of ibe 

earth ; and Lobitaogi), the blood-coloured. 

. $ Boodhft-varA, or Wednesday. Ihe meaning of Eotdhii is, the i^isc. lie is also called Ilotth]n^jB» the ioA 
of Rohincfy aad Soam^tti the son of Som5. 

Of tm uwJ.— Boo J/*M OF TDE IIINDOOS. 75 

The followins: is an accouni of the birth of Boodhn : On a certain occasion Vri- 
buspiitce, the spiritual guide oFthegocI*-, made a great feast^ to livhich he invited all 
the gods : Chrmdru was present among tlie rqst ;..who, during the festival^ fell in love 
with Tara, the wife of Vrihuspulee. Wot knowing how to accomplish his wishef^i 
after his return home he invited Vrihusputee to a sacrificf, begging him to bring his 
wife with him. Vrihuspntee and his wife proceeded to the palace of Chundru^ but 
iiiw« no prepar<itions for the sacriftce. The former expressing his surprize at this 
circomfitance, Chundru foki him that the sacrifice was unavoidably delajod, and ad* 
rised him to return for a short time to his devotions- leaving hitf wife at his house* 
Vrihusputee consented, and during his absence Chniidru dishonoured the wife of hit 
spiritual guide, who, on his return, finding his wife pregnant, cursed Chundriiy and 
hurled him into the sea, where he continued like a cinder, leaving the earth in dark^' 
ness for two kulpns, or 864,000,000 years. Vrihusputee compelled his wife to deliver 
kerselfj and, on the birth of they child Boodhii, reduced her to ashes. Brumhaafter* 
wards raised her from her ashes, and, thus p'lrtfied, Vrihuspntee took her \o his em- 
braces again. Sunaoodru, (the sea) incensed at his son for this horrid crime ofdis- 
l)Qnoiiring the wife of his divine teacher^ disinherited him. Chundru then applied* 
to his sister Ltikshm^^* (he wife of Visbnoo, by whose power part of his sin was 
removed, and he became light like the moon when three days old. She also applied 
in his behalf to Parviitee, who resolved to restore Chundra to heaven, and for this: 
purpose planted him in the foreliead of her husband,t who went, thus ornamented, 
to a feast of the gods. Vrihusputee, on seeing Chundru again in heaven, wa« great* 
ly incensed, and could only be appeased by Brumhi*s ordaining that the lascivious 
god should be excluded from heaven, and placed among the stars ; and that the sin 
by which his glory had been obscured should remain for ever. Chnndry now asked 
Brumha to remove the vomiting of blood, with which he had been seized since his fall 
from heaven, who directed him, as a certain cure, to hold a deer on his knees. 

If a person be born onder the planet Boodhu, he will be very fortunate, obtain an 
excellent wife, &c.—J^oiis/i'tiUwU. 

* I4k»1iiiic€ was born, like Ch&ndrfi, at the cbvming of the sea by tbe gods, 

t Ift Sklvft's iorehcad is placed a ball* moon. 

J 2 



VrihSsputee,'^ or Jupiter. 

THE image of this god^ the son of the sage Ungira) is painled yellow. He sits on Wm 
vrater-lil J ; has four arms ; ia one hand he holds a roodirdkahri bead-roll ; in another 
fm ahnse' dish $ in another a club ; and with the fourth he is bestowing a blessing* 

VrihGsputee is preceptor and priest to the gods ; in whose palaces he explains fh9 
V^dusy and performs a number of religious ceremonies. 

. If a person be born under (he planet Vrihrisputee, he will be endowed wi^h an 
amiable disposiUon 5 possess palaces, gardens, lands, and be rich in money, corn, &c. ; 
obtaining the affections of all, his honours will increase ;. he will possess much religious 
merit; and in short will have all his wishes gratified. Kshufriyns, Voisbjus, and 
Shoodrus, if born under this planet, will be prosperous and happy ; but bramhuns will 
not be so fortunate : the reason given is, that Vrihrisprifee is a bramlinn^ and there- 
fore does noi wish io exalt those of his own cast. — Jj^otish-tiitwil. 

This god is charged in the Mrihabharata with deflouring the wife of his eldest bro* 

J^aniei, Vrihuspritce, or, preceptor to ths go is. — Sooracharyn, the priest of the 
gods. — Gishputee, the eloquent. — Gooroo, the preceptor. — JeevTi, he who revives the 
gods.+— Angirfisu, the son of Ungira. — Vachusputec, tlic lord of words, viz. the 

• Yrilinspnti.varB, rr Tlmrsdaj. . i TUi Is, when tlie god* dif m battle, VrihSspttice bj.incantaltont 

Of WBx»oaft.^^foDJtril.] OF THE HINDOOS. 7i 


Shookru,* or the pland Venus. 

THIS god^ the son of the sage Bhrigoo, is dressed in white ; sits on the \rater-liljr ; 
bas four hands ; in one he holds a roodrakshii bead-roll ; ia another an alms' dish ; in 
another a club, and with the other b bestowing a blessing. 

Shookra is preceptor and officiating priest to the giants. He is represented as blind 
of one eye ; the reason of which is thus related : When Vamunu went to king Bulee^ 
to solicit a present, Shookrii, being Balee's preceptor, forbad his giving him anj 
thing. The king disregarding his advice, the priest was obliged to read the necessary 
formulas, and to pour out the water from a vessel, to ratify the gift. Shookru, still 
anxious to withhold the gift, which he forifsaw would be the destruction of his master, 
entered the water in an invisible form, and by his magic power prevented it from fall- 
ing ; but Vamunn, aware of the device, put a straw into the bason of water, which 
entered Shookrii's eye, and gave him so much pain^ that he leaped out of the bason : 
the water then fell> and the gift was offered. 


If a person- be born under the planet Shookru, he will have the faculty of know- 
ing things past, present, and future ; will have many wives ; have a kingly um- 
brella, (the emblem of royalty); and other kings will worship him ; he will possess 
elephants, horses, palanqueens, footmen,. &c. — Ji/olish'tfjUwu. 

Shookru's daughter Devujinee, was deeply in love with one of her father's pupils,. 
Kuchu, the son of Vrihusputec. This youth had been seat by his father to learn from 
Shookra an incantation for raising the dead. One day Devujanee sent Kuchu to bring 
some flowers to be used in worshipt from a forest belonging to the giants. Previously 

• Shook rfi-vara, or Frldaj. 1 Gatboring flowers for the worsliip of ihc gcds is ofJrn at pre»ent the eo- 

plojoient of yoangpcrsuDi* 


to this, Kiichn had been dcvourcJ several times, by diflFereat giants, but Shookrii, bj 
¥lie above Incantation had restored him to life, when he tore open the bellies of th^se 
cannibals and destroyed them. The giants now resolved to make Shookru himself eat 
this boy, for which purpose they caught him in the forest, cut him into the smallest 
pieces, boiled him up in spiri's, and invited Shookru to the entertainment. Kuchu not 
returning from the forest, D6vujnn^ wept much, and told her father that she would 
certainly kill herself* if he did not bring back her lover. Shookru at length, by the 


power of meditation, discovered that he had eaten this youth, so beloved by his daugh*, 


ter, and he knew not how to bring liim back to life without the attempt being fatal to 
himself. At last, however, while the boy continued in his belly he restored him to life^ 
and taught him the incantation for raising the dead, after which Kuchii, tearing open 
Shookrfrs belly, came forth, and imifiediately restored his teacher to life. KuchU| 

having obtained the knowledge of revivifying the dead, took leave of his preceptor, 
and was about to return to his father Yrihnsputee, when D^vfijanee insisted upon his 
marrying her. Kuchu declined this honour, as she was the daughter of his preceptor ;. 
at which she was so incensed that she pronounced a curse upon him by which he was. 
doomed to reap no advantage from all his learning. In return Kuchu cursed D^viija- 
nee, and doomed hcrtonmrry akshutriyu; which curse^ after some time took eifect, 
and sh^ was married to king Yujatee* After Devujanee had borne two children, she 
discovered that the king maintained an illicit connection with a princess of the name 
of Sammishi'ha, by whom he had three sons. She appealed to her father Shookn% 
who pronounced a curse on Yujatee,— when his h\ir immediately became grey, bis 
teeth fell from his head, and he was seized with complete decrepitude. Ynjatee remon- 
strated with his father-in-luw, and asked him who 6houUl live wiUi his daughter, who 
was yet yoimg, seeing that he had brought old age upon him. Shookru replied, that if , 
he could persuade any one to take upon him this curse, he might still enjoy connu« 
bial felicity. Yujatee returned home^ and asked his eldest son by D6vujanee to take 
this curse for a thousand years, and possess the kingdom, at the close of which time he 
should become young again, and continue iu the kingdom ; but this son, his brother, 
and the two.eldest sons of Sjmmisht'ha refused the Jcingdom on these conditions ; which 
so enraged the father, that he cursed them all. The youngest son, however, by Sam* 

* l^be Htadpo ckildfcn often xesort to Cbia ihreat to extort sone favoiir from tbtir parenlj. 

Of THE GODS.— 5Wntf<?.] OFTDEHINDOaS. 79 

misht'ha accepted the conditions, and instant I j became weak and decrepid ; when the 
father assumed his former youth, and returned to the company of his wives. 

Barnes. ShookrU| or, he who sorrows at the destruction of the giants. — Doityii- 
gooroo, preceptor to the giants. — Ka vyn, the poet. — Ooshiina, the friend of the 
giants.— -Bharguvfi, the descendant of Bhrigoo. 


Shunee^* or Saturn^ 

THIS god is dressed in black ; rides on a vulltire ;t hes four arms ; in one lie 
holds an arrow ; in another a javelin ; in another a bow, and with the other is giving 
a blessing. He is said to be the son of Sooryii by Chaya. 

All the Hindoos exceedingly dread the supposed baneful influence of this god, and 
perform a number of ceremonies to appease him. JU any stofics of him are to be 

found in the writings of the Hindoos, such as that of his burning off the head of Gune* 
sba ; his burning Dnshikut^hu's chariot in his descent from heaven ; his giving rise to 
bad harvests, ill fortune, &c. 

If a person be born under (he planet Shiinee, says the JyotisB-tutwfi, he will be slan- 
dered, his riches dissipated, his son, wife, and friends destroyed ; be will live atr va- 
riance with others ; and endure many sufferings. The Hindoos are under constant 
fear of bad. fortune from this planet. Some persons, if absent from home at the time 

* Shfiner-varftfOr Saturday. Ooe of the names of ShSive isShttnojthcbSrd} viz. be who- travels ftK wly. 

f This Rod is represented as sitting on this bird> probablj to denote his destructive power. Satuni, in the Grecian 
•tstem of idolatrj, was repfesentcd as devouiing his childicp. The vultures in Bengal are highly useiu) in devour- 
ing the dead bodies of men and beasts* many ot which are left in the roads ar.d on the-banks of rivers. It is asto- 
Bishiog how swiftly these birds co lect wherever a dead body falls, though one of them should not have been seen 
In the prace for weeks or months before, irnstmting, in the most striking manner, the words of our Lcrd : " Whercso- 
«Ter the carc«b« is, there will the vultvres be gathered togetbec." Matt. xxiv. &8i 

80 HISTORY, LITERATURE, akd RELIGION, [Part in. Cnip.i. 

of his appearance, return through fear, and others forsake their business lest Ihey should 
meet with misfortunes. If one person persecute another, the latter sometimes takes it 
patiently, supposing it to arise from the bad fortune which naturally springs from the 
influence of this star. The Hindoos believe that when Sliunee is in the ninth' stellar 
mansion, the most dreadful evils befal mankind : hence when Ramu broke the bow of 
Shivn, which was the condiUon of obtaining Seeta in marriage, and when the earth sunk 
and the waters of the seven seas were united in one, Purxishoo-ramu, startled at the noise 
of the bow, exclaiaied— <Ah ! someone has laid hold of the hood of the snake, or fal- 
len under the ninth of Shunce/ At present, when a person is obstinate, and will not 
hearken to reason, a bye-stander says— < I suppose he has fallen upon Shunee, or he 
has laid his hand upon the hood of the snake, viz. he is embracing his own destruc- 
tion.' When Ramii found that some one had stolen Seeta, in the midst of his rage he 
exclaimed, This person must have been born when Shijnee was in the ninth mansion. 



THIS god, the son of Singhika, is painted black : he rideff on a lion ; has four arm^, 
in three of which he holds a scymitar, a ?pear, and a shield, and with the other hand 
is bestowing a blessing. 

If a person be born under the planet Rahoo, says the work already quoted, his 
wisdom, riches, and children will be destroyed ; he will be exposed to many afflic- 
tions, and be subject to his enemies. 

Rahoo was orginaily a giant, but at the churning of the sea he took his present 
name and form, that is, he became one of the heavenly bodies,+ which transforma- 

• The ascending node. 

t Wc are bere reminded of Jupiter's deflooring Calistr, ihe daughter ofLjcaon,kine of Arcadia. It will be re- 
membcied, thai when her disgrace became known, Juno turned her into a betr, which Jopitcir afterwards advanced 
into heaveni and made it a coDstelkiioD, now called Ursa major 

et^^G6mi^Rahoo.'\ or tlTB HIN^DOOS* 81 

tion is thas described in the poontniis : At Ihe time vfhen the gods churned the sea 
to obtain the water of life, Sooryu (the sun) and Qhiindru ^the moon) were sitting to* 
gethen When the nectar came up, these gods hinted to Yishnoo that one of the 
company who had drank of the neclar was not a god, but one of the giants. Yishnoo 
immediately cut off his head ; but after drinking the water of life, neither the head 

nor the trunk could perish. The head taking the name of Rahoo, and the trunk that 


*0f K^too, were placed in the heavens as (he ascending and descending nodes^ and leave 
was granted, by way of revenge on Sooryii and Chfindrn, that oh certain occasions Rai 
hoo should approach these gods, and make them uncl^n, so that their bodies should 
become thin and black. The popular opinion however is, that, at the time of aa 

eclipse, Rahoo swallows the sun and moon, and vomits them up again.* 

Many persons perform a number of ceremonies on these occasions, as, those to the 
maA^ ; pouring out water to deceased ancestors ; repeating the naiiies of the gods, 
setting up godFjmakingofferinjjfs, &c. The Jyotish-tntwn declares that performing 
these duties now is attended with benefits infiniti^Iy greater than at other times. No- 
body must discharge the faece?, nor urine, nor eat any food, until thcy'have seen" the 
Bun or moon after the eclipse^ thou^^h it be till their rising the next day. He who 
does not observe this law, will have a million of hells in one. 

Names, Tnmn, (he dark, or he who is possessed of a great proportion of the qua- 
lity of darkness.*— Rahoo, he who swallows and afterwards vomits up the sun or moon., 
— Swurbhanoo, he who shi es in the heavens. — Soinghikdyr?, the son of Singhika. — 
Yidhoontoodu, he who afflicts the moon. 

* It is a most nnacccontable coinridence in the notions of remote nations, iliat ibe Chinese and the GrcenlanderSf 
as well as the Hindoos, should i hink that the sun, or the moon, is dcTonred at the time of an eclipse. " As soon as 
they (the Chinese) perceive that ;he sun or moon begins to be darkened, they throw themselves on their knees, ard 
Itnock their foreheads against the earth. A noise of drums and cjmbals is immediately heaid throoghont the whclo 
cit J. This is the remains of an ancient opinion entertained in China, that by snch a horrid din they assisted the 
sofferiog luminary, and prevented it from'being devonri-d by the celestial dragon." Craitta in bis history of Green- 
land asserts, that a similar cattom exists among this people, ykho could cetloinly nevex have Itarntit either fiom tL« 
iiindoos or the Chineie. 



SECTION xxin. 


K^TOO 18 the headless trunk of Rahoo, vhich became immortal at the churotng 
of the sea. This god is painted of a light green colour. He rides on a Tuliurej 
is one hand holds a club^ and with the other is bestowing a Uessing. 

THE preceding may be called the Hindoo Cele^tiai Oods. I dare not sa^y thai I have 
given every deity oj this order, nt I haoe not found any book containing an exact Hit of them* 
/ could easily have enlarged the number, by inserting accounts of other forms of these godSp 
but this would have swelled the work without adding to its value. 

* Tbe detccodiag ntukti 

Or TBS QomnsEs.^Doorffa.] OF THE IIINDOOS. 89 

Of the goddesses. 



« _ 


IN those parts of the Hindoo shsistrus ivhich treat of the prodaction of the worlds 
\]b goddeH9 is spoken of as the female power, under the name of Pnikritee or Bhii* 
govutee* She was first bom in the house of Dukshu, one of the progenitors of man* 
kind^ and called Sutee ; under which name she was married to Shivfi, but renounced 
Ii^ life on hearing her father reproach her husband. On her second appearance, 
we feoognize her under the name of Parvotee, the daughter of Himaluyu ;* when she 
agaiu married to Shivu^ by whom she had two children, Kartik6jru and Gun^shn. 

Doorga has had many births io destroy the giants, t The reason of her being calU 
ed Doorga is thus given in the Kasbe&-khandu : On a certain occasion, Ugtistyu, 
the sage,' asked Kartikeyu, why Parvutee, his mother, was called Doorga. Kartik^yo 
replied, that formerly a giant named Doorgu, the son of Rooroo, having performed 
religious austerities in honour of Brumha, obtained his blessing, and became a great 
oppressor: he conquered the three worlds, and dethroned Indru, Vayoo, Chundru, 
Yumu, Ugnee, Viiroon&i Koov^rii, Bulec, Kshanu, Roodrii, Sooryu, the eight Vu- 
soos, &c. The wives of the rishees were compelled to celebrate his praises. He sent 
aM the gods from their heavens to live in forests; and at bis nod tbey came and wor- 
shipped him. He abolished all religious ceremonies; the bramhi.ns, through 

fear of him, forsook the reading of the v&lus ; the rivers changed their courses ; fire 
lost its energy ; and the terrified stars retired from sight : be assumed the forms of 

* The tMantein oTthU naue. 

^ Sir W. JFiNica, n«t ivproperlj* coiuiden Doorga ts bearing a prettj itfong reaemblance 4o Juoo« as well as to 
Miaerri. •  




the cloud^^ and gave rain whenever he pleased ; the earfb through fear gave an abund* 
ant increase ; and the trees yielded flowers and fruits oat of seas^o^ ~ Tbo fPda. 

at length applied to Shivu. Indru.said^ < He has dethroned me' — SSBryii saidf ^ He 
has taken my kingdom ;' and thus all the gods related their misfortunes, Shi VU| pitj* 
ing their case, desired Parvutee to go and destroy the giant. She willingly accepting 
of the commission, calmed the fears pf the gods, and first sent Kalu-rafree, a female 
whose beauty bewitched the inhabitants of the three worlds, to order the giant to te« 
store things to their ancient order. The latter, full of fury, sent some soldiers to lay 
hold of Kalu-ratrec ; but, by the breath of her mouth, she reduced them to ashes. 
Doorgu then sent S0,003 other giants, who were such monsters in size that tbey cover- 
ed the surface of the earth. Among them were the following : Doordhfirfi,' Door- 
mbokhu,^ Khurii, s SJkiru-pinse,^ Poshu^panee,^ Soor^ndrii,^ Domonu,^ Hiinoo,* 
Yugnuhanee,^ Khurgu-roma,^^ OograsyUjU D£vii-*kump(inu,i< . A^c. At the sight of 
these giants, Kalu^ratree fled through the air to Parvfiife, and the giants followed her. 
Doorgu, with 100,000,000 chariots, 200 iikvoodijs (or lSO,000,000,000)4>f elephants, 
ten millions of swift-footed horses, and innumerable sokiters, went to fight with Par«- 
vuteS on the mountain Yindhu. As soon as the giant drew near, ParvntS assumed 
1000 arms, and called to her assistance different kinds of beings, as jtlmbhu,'^ maha- 
jumbhu,^* vijumbhuj-^vikutannnu,*^ pingakshu,^'^ muhibhfi,^* rauhogrn,*? utyoogrft,^^ 
vigruhu,** kroorakshri,^^ krodhanfi,*^ krundunu,^^ sfinkrundriiu'i,*^ mnha-bhuy u,^ jitan- 
luku,*^ maha-vahoo,^^muha-yuktru,^ muheedhfiru,^^ doondoobhu,^* doondoobhiroYU,** 
muha-doondoo-bhinasikf],^ oograsyu,^ dSrga-dushunu,^ m^ghu-k6>hri,^ vrikahu* 
nij,^ singhasyu,^ shookrira-raookhu,^^ shiva-rrivri-mribotkatu,*^shookut-oOndri,4' pru- 
chundasyii,'^*'^ bheemakshu,^ kshoodru-manusu,^ ool5oku-ii6tru,*=> kunukasyu,^^kaku- 

S Difficult to ciitcb. f FoQl-mouthed, 3 Cru^. 4 Holding ah aAan sliotl in fbo Iiancf. Widdeifl 

of the pasliSi. 6SnvereignMofthepod5. 7 Baliics. 8 Ofhigh rhctk bones. 9Sacri- 

Sce*dc$tro3'ers. lOTbejr whose hair is like scjmitHri. li Of terrific countenance. tiThiy who 

Blake the gpds tremMe. 13 Maliciuo^*. 14 Very^maliciuut., 15 In Tariovfr wAjs nsaUcioiii 

16 Offear-exc'ting countenance. 17 Of yellow eves. 18 L'ke buffulos. 19 Wrathfal. 

20 Exceedingly wrathful. Jl Warriors. t? Ou'-l-eved. J^T Wrnlhful. SiCausrn 

of crying. 95 Causing to cry excessively. t6 Fearexcitinif. f7 Death oonquering. 48 L«rg^- 

armed. $9 Large-faced. 30 Muuutain-like. Si Xolsy like Iho dpondouWiee. 3J Ditto. 

33 With noses like the dooiidoobhee. 3* With wrathful co ntenance. S5 L'lug-tooihed. 36 With 

bair like clouds. 37 L« oj^ard-faced. 38 Li< n-fwced. 59 Pifr-faccd. 40 Kxciliog tenon by 

Biking sounds like the jack: I. ji With bil's like a parrot. 4.' Tcrriblc-faced. "43 Texiific-eyed. 

41 Little minded. 45 Owl-eyed. 46 Gold-faced. 

O^tn 60MiiMi.-*Dat>rf a.} 6F THE HINDOOS. «k 

lldolid(i>^ khurunfikhu,' deergugrSeyu,^ mfibajfinghn,* shiroddBurii,* rtiklu-vrindu-juva-* 
b£<«v,^ vidjrboljivha/ figniiifitrakn,^ tapunV dhoomrakshu,*^^ dhdomunishwasu,'^ 
ftko0ru-chiindang8h(>o4apuii5)'^ mnhabheeshrmu-mookhn,'^ &c. She alsobroughtic 
iHlmb^ of iMtpons out of her bodjy as usee,^^ cbukru,^^ bhooshoondei,^^ guda,^^ mood- 
gdruj^B tomurui^* bhindipairi,'®purighn,^^ koontu,«* shulju,^^ shiiktee,'* urdhu-chun- 
dru,^*'k»hooriipru^** narachu,*^ shileemookhuj'^muhabhullu,^ purushoo,^ bhidooru,^^ 
and muniiiibh6du.^< The troops of the giant poared their arrot¥s on ParvulS 

fitting On the mountain Vindhu thick as the drops of rain in a storm ; thej even toti 
up Ihe trees, (he mountains. Sec. and hurled at the goddess, who hotvever threw A 
weapon which carriod awaj many of the arms bP the giant ; wh^n hi?, in return, hurl/ 
ed a flaming dart at the goddess, which she turning aside, he discharged another ; 
bal'thid abo she resisted bjr a hundred arrows. tie liext let fly an arrow at Parvii- 
(9^8 breast, but this too she repelled, as well as two other instruments, a club and a 
pike. At last ParrateS seized Doorgn, and set Iier lefl foot on his breast ; but he 

disengaged himself, and renewed (he fight. The beings (0,000,000) whom Par* 
yatti caused to issue from her body then destroyed all the soldiers of the giants; in 
return Ehjorgu causred a dreadful sliower of hail to descend, the eflect of which Par» 
TifeB counteracted by an instrument called sho^hrmii.* He next, breaking ofl* the 
peak of a mountain, threw it at Parvutee, who cut it into feeven pieces by her arrows. 
Tlte giant now assumed (he shape of an elephant as large as a mountain, and ap* 
proached thegQJdess, but she lied his legs, and with her nails, which were like scy- 
mitars, tore him to pieces. He then arose in tlic form of a bufliilo, and with his horns 
cast stones, tree?, and mountains at the goddess, (earing up the trees by the breath of 
his nostrils. The goddess next pierced him with her trident, when he reeled to and 
fro^ and, renouncing the form of the buflulo, assumed his original body as a giant^with 

1 Crow-ftc^i). JSltarp-naifcrf. SLcnr-nccliCf'. 4 Long-thii;lied. 6 Large-Tfined'. 

€Wiihrjrr«red like ihejava flowtr. 7 With tongues !i\e lluhtning. 8 Fiery-eyed.' 9 InflameVi. 

JO Sniol e-€v€d. 1 1 Wiih breath like smuke. 1 i Givmg pain to the sun Miid moon. 1$ Of honid 

countenance. 14 A scymiiar. 15 A discus. 16 Hatchet. 17 A bMgeon or club. 

18 A hammer. 19 An iiou cruvr. 10' A »'.ort arrow. «i A WadgeoD. f f A'bcardttd d»»t. 

S3 A JHYeliti. $4 Another i.5 An arrow liKe a halt in ior. S6 A weapon like a Spade. i7 A small 

ftrmw. ?8 A round er^uvr 19 A reiy long spear. 20 A hatchet like a half moofi. di A (IiiUl* 

ilerMt foil of s:>i(.es. 35? A bcur.itd arrow. 

• A weapon which drits tp h juUls, 

mt HISTORY, LITERATUEE, AifD RELIGION, . [Part in. Chip. !• 

a thoasand arms and weapons in each. Going up to ParvuteS, the goddess seized hini 
by his thousand arms, and carried him into the air, from whence she threw him dowa 
with dreadful force. Perceiving however that this bad no effect, she pierced him iia^ 
the breast with an arrow, when theblood issued in streams from his mouth, and heex« 
pited« ~ The gods were now filled with joy : Sooryrr, Chundrn, Ugnee, Sec* obtain* 
ed their former splendour, and all the other deities, who had been dethroned by tbii 
giant, immediately reascended their thrones ; the bramhiins resumed the study of the 
yidus ; sacrifices were regularly performed, and every thing assumed its pristine 
state : the heavens rang with the praises of Parvutee, and the gods in jreturn for so 
signal a deliverance honoured her with the name of Doorga« 

Muhishu^ king of the giants, at a certain period, overcame the gods in war^ ami 
reduced them to such a state of indigence (hat they were seen wandering about the 
earth like common beggars. Indrii, after a time, collected them together, and they 
went in a body to Brumha, and afterwards to Sbivi^ but met with no redress. At 
last they applied to Vishnoo, who was so enraged at beholding their wretchedness^ 
that streams of glory issued from his face, from which sprang a female named Muha- 
may a (Doorga). Streams of glory issued also from the faces of the other go^ls, and 
entering Muha-maya^ she became a body of glory resemblilig a mountain on fire. The 
gods then gave their weapons to this female, and, with a frightful scream, she ascend* 
ed into the air. 

[The work Cbundee, in this place, contains a long account of the dreadful contest 
betwixt Muha-maya and this giant, which ended in the destruction of the latter.] 

After the victory the gods chanted the praises of Muha-maya, and the goddess, 
pleased with their gratitude, promised to succour them whenever they were in dis* 
tress, and then disappeared. 

The Hindoos believe that the worship of Doorga has been performed through ^the 
four yoogfis, but that Soorutn, a king, in tlie end of the dwapuru-yoogfi, made known 
the present form of worshipping the goddess, and celebrated these orgies in the month 

OTmGom^ts,^Do0rga.1 OF THE HINDOOS. 


Choitra, hence called the Vasunfee, or spring festiyah Soorutu offered a verjr great 
Aumber of goats, sheep, and buff^alos to Doorga, believing, according to the shas* 
truy that he should enjoy happiness in heaven as many years as there were hairs upon 
the different animals offered. After his death, however, his case excited much 

discussion in the court of Yumu, who at length decided, that though Sooratii had 
much merit, he had destroyed the lives of many animals, and that he must be bom 
and suffer death from all these beasts assembled in one place, when he should im*^ 
mediately be advanced to heaven. Others interpret thb passage of the shastru at 
rineaning, that the king was to assume in succession the forms of all these beasts, and 
be put to death in each form before he couhl ascend to heaven* In the trStu yoogii 
Ramu is said to have performed the worship of Doorga in the month Ash winu ; and front 
kirn it is continued in this month, and called the Sharii^dSeya or autumnal festival* 

This festival, celebrated in the month Ashwinu, the most popular of alt the annual 
festivals held in Bengal, I shall now attempt to describe. Immense sums are ex^ 
pended upon it ;* all business throughout the country is laid aside for several days^ 
and universal festivity and Kcentiousness prevail. A short time before the festf val^ ^ 
the learned men and sirkarsf employed in Calcutta ahnost universally return home*^ 
Of them enjoy a holiday of several weeksw i 

The image of Doorga has ten arms* In one of her right hands is a spear, wltb 
which she is piercing the giant Muhishn ; with one of the left she holds the tall of a 
terpent, and the hair of the giant, whose breast the serpent is biting. Her other handli 
mall stretched behind her head, and £lled with different instruments of war. Against 
her right leg leans a lion^ and against her left the above giant. — The images of Lnksfaw 
mSh SuniswiitS, Kartik^yfi, and Gun^sbu^ are^ very frequently made and placed 
bj the side of this goddess. 

* Tn the Citj ofCttleaUa i1ob«, it is soppoted*. apon a moiTerate'caTipalttion, tBat titir s mitlion fterliDg is cxptnd* 
td imiiiMlly on this feitiTAl. About fifty yean ago (iSl i) Kund&rp&*goori!b a kaist'htt, eipendfd in tbU worship 
SSnOOQ pounds aad speut lS,dOO poondsanAaaily as loug as be lived in tbe same naoner*. 

t MatiTca who direct the b««n«M of faropean* we oonuoBooly eidicd lirkacs. The propex naisc is Moots&ddci^ 


On the 9th day of the decrease of the moon, this fe&tival begint^ ^hen the oero* 
mony called sunkijlpri is perfurmed, by (he officiating bramhiia's taking into his joined 
hands a metal kosha, which contains water, flowers, fruits, sesamuiD,Tice, and a blade 
of kooshu grass, reading an incantation, and promising that on the succeeding days 
such a person will perform the worship of Ooorga. Afler this, Ooorga iswonhi|ip€d 
before a pan of water with the accustomed formularies. 

On the lOth, Ilth, ISih, 13th, 14th, and I5th days of the moon^ the same ceremo* 
nies are performed before the pan of water ; and, with some trifling yariatioHS ia tlui 
offerings, continued on the 16tb, I7lh, ISlb, lOlh, and 20(b. 

On tlie 31st day of the moon, at the close of the worship, what is called udhivasu it 
performed. This also is a preliminary ceremony, and consists in taking rice, fruits^ 
&G. and touching with them a pan of water, and afterwards the forehead, of the im«ge^ 
at intervals repeating incantations* 

On the S2d^ early in tlie morning, the officiating bramhun consecrates the image) 
placing it on the spot prepared for it in the temple, and repeating the proper formur 
las. Afler this the principal ceremonies before the image begin. First, tlie busjaesa 
of giving eyes and life to the images is performed; when they become objects of 
worship. In this curious ceremony, the officiating bramhiin. touches* with the two 
forc^tingers of his right hand the breast, the two cl eeks, the eyes, and the forelictutl 
of the in^age. When he touches these. plaroK he says, ' Let the soul of DocrgtL 

loi^ continue in happiness in (his image .^ After this, he take9aJeaf ofthe.YiU 

wu tree, rubs, it with clarifie<l butter, and holds it o?er a burning lamp till it be co« 
vered with soot, of which he takes a little on the stalk of another vilwu leaf and touches 
the eyes, filling up with the soot a small white place left in the pupil of theeye* 

. The worship of Gun6shu and other gods is now performed; then thai* of the de* 
mi-goddesses, the companions of Doorga in her wars, who are represented by the 
dots of paint on the canopy which covers the image of the goddess. The offerings 
presented to them consist of very small slices of plantains, on each of which are stuck 
two or three grains of rice, &c. Then follows the woiship of the other images set 

Of «« cotottsw.— Daor^«.] OP THE HINDOOS, »tf 

up with that of Doorga ; to which succeecU the principal worship^ that of Doorga* 
First, the officiating bramhun performs dhyanu, in which, sitting before the image, 
he closes his eyes, and repeats the proper formulas, meditating on the form of ther 
goddess, and repeating to himself, ^ I present to the goddess all these flowers, fruits^ 
&c. [here he goes overall the offerings ;] I slay all these animals,' &c. He then calls 
the godde&s saying, < O goddess, come here, come here ; stay here, stay here. Take 
up thine abode here, and receive my worship.* The priest next places before the 
image a small piece of square gold or silver, for the goddess to sit upon, and asks 
if she has arrived happily ; adding the answer himself, ^ Very happily.' After this 
water for washing the feet is offered, by taking it with a spoon from one vessel, and 
pouring it out into another, while the incantation is repeated. ' Ten or fifteen bladeft 
of doorvu grasF, a yuva flower, sandal powder, rice, &c. are then oilered with an 
incantation, and laid at the feet of Doorga. Next follows water to wash the mouth ; 
curds, sugar, and a lighted lamp. Then water to Wash the month, and to bathe ; 
then cloth) or garments; then je web, or ornaments for the feef, arms, fingers, nose^ 
ears, &c« with sandal wood, and red or white lead; then flowers of different kinds^ 
one at a time, with a separate incantation for each flower, also a viiwu leaf, with 
some powder of sandal wood put upon it. Then are oflfered thrice successively 

two handfuls of flowers ofdifierent kinds; afterwards incense, a lighted lamp, and 
meat-offerings* At the close, the bramhisn wsdks round the image seven times, re« 
peating forms of petition and praise. 

Now the bloody sacrifices arc offered* . If thie animal be a sheep or a gOat, as h 
always the case on the first day, the officiating bramhun, after bathing it either in 
the river or in the house^ puts his left hand on its forehead, marks it6 horns and fore- 
head with red lead^ and reads an incantation^ in which he offers it up to the goddess 
thos,^ ^ O goddess, I sacrifice this goat^ to thee, that I may live in thy heaven 
io the end of ten yeara.' He theii reads an incantation in its ear, and puts flowers, 
and sprinkles water^ on its head. The instrument with which the animal is killed 
is consecrated by placing upon it flowers, red lead, &c« and writing on it the incantation 
which is given to the disciples of Doorga. The officiating bramhiin next puts the instra« 

*. Oolj vale animals are offered; 


90 HISTORY, LITERATURE, ama RELIGION, [Pmt hi. Cuap.u 

men! of death on the neck of the animal, and^ after presenting him with a flower as a 
blessing,* then into the hand of the person appointed to shiy the animal, who is ge»- 
ncrall J the blacksmith,-^ bnt sometimes a brambun. The assistants put thegoat's neck 
into an upright post excavated at the top so as to admit the neck betwixt its two sides, 
the body remaining on one side of the post, and the head on the other. An earthen vessel 
' containing a phmtain is placed upon a plantain leaf, . after which the blacksmith cuts, 
off the head at one blow^ and another person holds up the body^ and drains out the 
blood upon the plantain in the bason* If the person who performs the sacrifice does 
notr intend ta offer the flesh to Doorga,:]; the slayer cuts only a small morsel from the 
neck and puts it on the plantain, when someone carries it, and the head, and placea 
them before the image, putting on the head a lighted lamp* After all the animals 
ba^ been thus killed, and som^ of the flesh and the heads carried. before. the image,, 
the officiating brambun repeats certain prayers over these offisriogs, and presents them 
to the goddess, with, the blood which fell oa the plantains:, then, taking the blood 
fcom the bason, he 'put3 it on a plantain leaf, and cuts it ia fourparts, presenting it to 
the four goddesses who attend upon Door^« 

Ofierings of rice, plantains, sugar^ sweetmeats, sour milk, cuuls, pulse of different' 
sorts, limes, fruits, &c. are next presented with prayers. Now the names of Doorg^t. 
are repeated by the priest, who afterwards presents camphorated water to the goddess; 
then betlc-nut^ limes, spices,, &c. made into what is called panii.i After repeating, a. 
number of forms of praise, this part of the service closes with the prostration of the 
officiating bramhiini)efore the idoK. ^fext, fiood is presented with many, prayers to 
the goddess, which food consists of what is called kh6chiiru,|[ fried fruits, fried fish, 
and flesh, &c. About four in the afternoon, large quantities of food are presented to. 

* It 18 common, among the Hindcos for a soperior to give a blessing wtiile presentttlg a flbwer. 

f The Hindoos covet the bononi of cattfng off the head of an animal dexterously at the time of these sacvlfioes. 
If it be not doite at one blow, thej drive the bhicksmith away in disgrace. The shasttSshave'dtnounood rengemofr-. 
•n tbo person wbo shull fail to out off the head at one blow : his^on wiildic, or the goddess of fortune (L&kshmec) 
will forsake him. 

t This is rarefy or never done at present. Ttere are- no part» of the anima), howevefi which may not be 


} Chewed by almost all the natives. 

n A common dish in Bengali made of rtce* boiled ug with tormerrc, pease, spioes» clarified botter, && 

Of THE 60DDEUE;.-*Doorjr«.] OFTHEHINDOOS. 91 

(he goddess ; amongst which are, prepared . greens of three or four kinds ; prepared 
peas of three or four kinds ; fried fruits, sweet potatoes, &c. ; fried fish mixed with 
fruits of four ve different sorts; the flesh of sheep and goats, stewed in two or three 
wajrs ; piepamtions 6f Inmarinds, two or three sorts ; rice boiled in milk, two or 
three sorts ; fifteen or sixteen sorts of sweetmeats^ &c. all which are ofieied with se« 
piM^te prayers ; after which water, betle, &c« ate pr^ieated. 

The biamhons are entertained either with sweetmeats, or prepared food, by the 
person at whose house the worship is performed : some of them are expressly i^vited^ 
and others attend to see the ceremonies. The food which hasbeen presented to the 
goddess^ being considered almost as ambrosia, is given to the guests with a sparing 
bMd ; some of wJiom (mothers) beg to take a morsel home to cure their children, or 
relatif es, of diseases. Food is also sent to the neighbours, and persons of inferior 
Oist carry away great quantities^* 

Tn the evening the officiating brarahun waves a brass candlestick, or lamp with five 
' lights^ before the goddess, repeating incantations ; afterwards a shell with water in it, - 
and thena piece of doth. At night the4em'ple is lighted up, and, about eight o'clock, 
unleavened bread, batter, fruits, sweetmeats, curds, milk, &c« are presented to the 
goddess. At midnight «ome persons repeat the worship ; but in this case the offerings 
are few, and there are no bloody sacrifices. 

After the worship of the day, many rich men engage a number of prostitutes, richly 
dressed and almost covered with ornaments, to dance and sing before the idol. The 
songs are exceedingly obscene, the dances hjghly indecent ; and the dress of the danc* 
ing women no less 90, iheir clothing being so fine as scarcely to deserve the name of a 
oav^ring. The tresses of some ate thrown loose hanging down to the waist. Dur^ 
ing the dances, the doors are shut to keep out the crowd, as well as Europeans, who 
are carefully excluded. >Six, seven, or eight women thus dance together, assisted 

• In some placet a familj 6r »eveMl bmilies of bmmhSns tre supported by the retenoei attached to a tern- 
jh, and by theofforings presented to tbe idol. At the time of « festival the heads of these families wait on those 
ivbo come to make offecings to Uie idol» and present them with betle, sweetmeat^ froiUi water, &c according to 
t^eir qaallty. 


by ma$ic^ for about four houn. Rich spectators,, lihen leauolEaUy pleased witiv»pttM 
of the song, thiraw to the singer as much as fo4ir^eig)it| or sixteen roopees ; beside whicfa^ 
those who engage these wontea make them pcesents of gprmonte^. and. of cMsideiabla 
soms of money. ¥he son& of the rich nativA. ave highfy plcftsed with ihesr dances* 

On the second day, the worship and sacrifices^ arrmuth the Mner as on tlte firsts ex-* 
cept that the bathing of the goddess, called the great snanu, is attended with more ce» 
reaiouiies« jfo this ceremony the priest first brings some eacth said 10 haveUMB thtowa 
up by the teeth of a wiM hog>^ and^ mixing it with water,, presents* it wilh prayers to 
the goddess^, to be used as soap. Then* in saceession eavth from befbre the dbor cf tfae^ 
lung, or lord of the soilr from before that of a courtezan^— from the side of the Gau» 
ges— earth raised by ants,, and lastly earth from any riverside,, not the 6rahges^. is 
presented with the scrme ceremonies. After this,. turmeric, fruits, and spices; the wa«^ 
ter of the cocoa-nut, and of the water melon ; the juice of the sugar cane ; honey, ciari-*' 
£ed butter, sour milk,, milk,, cow^s urine,, cow-dung, sugar, treacle, and diflferent sorts- 
of oil, are presented in succession, with the necessary formula^t While the officiating^ 
bramfaun is going th^oi^h these cei^emonies,. he revolves inrh$s mind that he i^mak^ 
iag these gifls to assist the goddess in bathings At the dose,: he presents some 

water of the Ganges, and after this the water of fcmr seas ; or, if unablelo obtain this, 
the water of the Ganges again,, and then the water of some other river. The bathing 
ceremonies are dosed by a present of cloth ftr the loinsr In the evening, or else iv 
the night, according to the conjunction of the stars, worship is again performed, in 
which only one bloody sacrifiibe is offered ; and in some <MtB none; Widows fast 
on this day, particularly a widdw with children, the latter deriving great benefits 
from the merittNrious actions of the mother. 

On the third day, the goddess is worshipped only once, but Aeofilbrings and sa^ 
crifices are many ; buffalos are oflT^red only on this day. A^ respectable native oooe 
told me he had seen one hundred and eight bufiblos sacrificed by one Hindoo at this: 
festival : the number slain in the whole country must therefore be very great. For* 
merly some of the Hindoo kings killed a thousand animals ontbese ocoasiocis.* The 

f The father of the present kiog of N&deejrti «t one of ihete feitiTals, offcrecl a great number of goatf and 


09rmQMtmt&.^Doorga.J OF THE HINDOOS^ OS 


males oaly are sacrificed ; tfnd tkey are in general yonng and very tame, costing from 
fi reto sixteoi nM>^ees each. Notie of tte Hindoos eat the sacrificed'bnfialos except the 
shoe-mdoers,* Each animal is bathed before it is slain ; after which' the officiating 
bramhon pots red lead on its horns^ and^ with a red string, iies a piece of wo^l smeared 
with red lead on the forepart of the breast ; he alsa pats a piece of cl6th coloured oyer 
with tttftneric oh his back, abd a necklaoe of Viiwu leaves on bi» neck, ri^peating pray- 
ers during, tbese^ actions. The ceremony of cutting offthe he^ds of the btifialo^ 
and' pieseaittBg them to the goddess, is similar (a those already described" respecting 
Ihe^ sacrifice ofgos^ and sbeep^ 

After tkfe beasU are allslain, the muldtode, rlcflran^ poor, daob^heir bodies att ovei 
wHh the mud farmhi*with the Mood which 1ms collected where the aniinaAs weire sitting 
and dance like farieis on the spot ;^ after Which: they go into the street, dancing aiid 
•i<^»g-ittdeeeiit soogsyand- visil thbse hodsea where images of Hui goitdess have^eed 
set np» 

the<^ose of the whole, the oftciating bramhun prestats aiinTnt-ofitriftg, and 
gives to the^ goddess a^sam of money^ commonly about four roo^pees t sonie indeed 

giFC ooefaondredy and others as mncb aa a thousand roopees ; wbtel^ai lengUi returti 


iat» the hamb of the offlciattoff bramhun.. 

In the year 1806,. I was present at the worship of tbb goddessy as performed at the 
house of Ksga Raj^krbhnij at OsilduEtta. The buildings where the festival was held were 
Mf four sidesj leaving an the middle. The room*to the east contained wine, 'E!ng'^ 
Usb sweetmeats, &c» for the entertainment of English guests, with a native PDrtngnese 

•beep to Doorga. tte began with one > and, doubling the namber each day> contiooeA it for siaUecn dajf . On the 
lait dajr he killed SS,16Sr and in the whale he statighter^d 65,5SSf auimalA. He loaded boats with the budiet* and 
tent tbeiD to the neighboaring bramh&ns, but thej could not devour them hat eooagb, and* great nombers were 
thrown away.— ^ Let no one, aAer thivtell usjot the icruples of the brambQna ao|pat destroying animal lif«» and 

• lA eome prace»tbe tamfe bog is offered to Doorga by the lowest casts^who, among other offerings, present 
i|nritiNHis Kqoors to the g«ddcst. At the end of the cerembAietf theft persons cook and eat the fl^h, drini tb^ 
spirits, and then, in a sute of intozicatbo, the men and women dance togHher, and commit the greatest indceencies. 
Wo bimmhttD, on pain oflosing cast, can assist at thex ceranwoies 3 and indeed all bramh&ns who perform cerctto- 
ftjet for ftnm» «f low €m^ sioii in lode^. 

94 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RE1.IGI0N, [Partixk Chajp.i. 

or two to wait on the visitors. In the opposite room was placed the image, with vast 
heaps of ail kinds of offerings before it. In the two side rooms were the native guests, 

and in theareagronps of Hindoo dancing women, finely dressed, ringing, and danc- 
ing with sleepy steps, surroanded vt^ith Europeans who were sitting on chairs anA 
couches. One or two groups of Musulman men-singers entertai,ned the company at in- 
tervals with Hindoosfhanee. songs, and Ludicrous triciEs. Before two o'clock the place 
was cleared of the dancinggirls, and of all the Europeans except ourselves, and almost 
all the lights were extinguished, exoept in front of the goddess, — when the doors of 
the area were thrown open, and a vast crowd of natives rushed in, almost treading one 
upon another; among whom were the vocal singers, having on long caps like sagaf 
loaves. The area might be about fifty culjits long and thirty wide.- When the 
crowd had sat down^ they were so wedged together as Co present the appearance of a 
solid pavement of heads ; a sraallspaoe oiily being left immediatdy before the image 
for Ihe motions of the singers, who all stood up. Four sets of singers were present on 
this occasion, the first consisting of bramhuns,* the next of bankers,* the next of 
Toishnuvus,* and the last of weavers,* who entertained their guests with filthy 
songs, and danced in indecent attitudes 4)efore the goddess, holding up tlieirliamls, 
turning round, putting forward their beads towards the. image, every now and then 
bending their bodies, and almost tearing their throats with their vociferations. The 
' whole scene produced on my mind sensations of the^reatest horror. The dress ofiihe 
singers — their indecent gestures — the abominable nature of the songs, — the hor- 
rid din of their miserable -drum — the lateness of the hour-— the darkness of thc^ place 
•—with the. reflection ihat I was standing in an idol temple, and that this immense 
multitude of rational and immortal creatures, capable of superior joys, were, in the 
very act of worship, perpetrating a crime of high treason against the God of heaven, 
while they themselves believed they were performing an act of merit— excited ideas 
and feelings in my mind which time can never obliterate. 

I would have given, in this place, a specimen ol the songs sung before the imagOy 
but found them so full of broad obscenity that I could not copy a single line. All 
those actions wkich a seaseof decency keeps out of the most indecent English songs, 

^ Diittoguished among (he natives t>j the name ofH&roo-t'hakoorftt BhufanQaidll^ Mitaee»juid LSksh«i6ft 

OrTHB GODDfissw.— Doorir^J OF TBE HINDOO'S* gs 

are bcre detailed^ sang, and laughed at, without the least sense of shame. A. poor 
ballad-singer in England would be sent (o (he house of correction, and flogged, for 
performing the meritorious actions of these wretched idolaters.* The singing is couti** 
nued'for three days, from about two o'clock in the morning tillnine* 

The next morning, between eight and nine, a short time is spent in worship, but 
no bloody sacrifices are offered. Amongst oilier ceremonies at this time the offi- 

ciating bramhun, in theprescncc of the family, dismisses the goddess, repeating these 
words: < Ogoddess !Thave, to the best oFmy ability, worshipped thee. Now goto- 
Iby residence, leaving this blessing, that thou wilt return the next year ;' after whicK 
the priest immerses a looking-glassj the representative of the goddess j in a pan of wa- 
ter, and then takes some of tifis water and sprinkles Himself and the company with i(. 
When the goddess is thus dismissed, the women set up a cry — some even shed tears* 
In the afCernoon thie mistress of t^e house and other women go to the image, put a roo- 
pee and some betle in its hand, strew some turmeric at its feet, and rib the dust of ift 
feet on their own foreheads and those of their friends. On their retiring, the crowd 
a«ambte, wittt- their bodies daubed with turmeric, oit^ and'sour milk, and bringing 
out the imagej place it on. a stage, to which they fasten it* with cords, and carry it on 
their shoulders to the water. It is here placed in the center of two boats lashed to- 
gether, and filled -with people, among whom are dancers, musicians, singers, &c. At 
tltis time, in many instances, men dance *stark naked on the boat before many thou^ 
nmds assembled, who only laugh at this gross indecency. Perhaps in one place on the , 
river twenty or thirty imagesrwillbeexhibited'aronce, while the banks are crowdecf 
with sp^tators rich and poor^ old and yoang^.all intoxicated withihe scene, t Tha ^ 

•"Tb* nad^f wilT reooHeet tbat the festivals 'of BaccHns and Cibeld were eqnall^ notfd for the indecencies 
iractised bj,4lie worshippen both in theiiv^ord« and aotioni. 

1 In a memonndam of mj'ovn, dated Sept. 26, 1803i I imd thi#e remarks, made one evening in the coarse ^f 
s journey: « Aboot five in tbe afternoon we came to BSIsgftr. The people of aboot twenty villages, more 

than tOOO in nomber, inclading women and children, were assembled to throw iheir images into the river, this being 
the tvrmhiatJ^ of the. D«orgir fiMtival^. I observed tkat onc-of the men standiogbeiore the idol in^ boat, ddne- 
ing and malting indecent gestores, was nalcd. As the b<iat passed along, he was gaxed at by the mob, nor couW 
1 perceive that this abominable action prodaced any thing beside laughter. Before other imaKes^oungmen, dresseif 
in women's clothes,, were daacing with other men, making indecent gestures. I cannot help thinking that the roost 
Tolgar mob in England wouk) have torned.with disgust from these abomiDablc scenes, 1 have secb-the same abo«- 
■sinaUaos exhibited before oar own boose at Svrampoce. . 


last ceremony is Ihat ef letting down tbe image^ wi(h all its linsLl and ornameats^ into 
the river. 

The women of the house to which the temple belongs go to the room from whence 
the goddess has just been taken, and place a pan of water upon the spot where the 
image stood, and put upon the top of the pan a branch of the mango tree. After 
the goddess has been drowned, the crowd return to the temple, and the officiating 
bramhun, taking his place by the side of the pan of water, dips the branch of the 
mango tree into the water^ and sprinkles all the people, repeating incantations ; and 
thus blessing the people they are dismissed, when each one clasps his neighbour ii| 
his arms. Adjourning to their own houses, they ]^artake of sweetmeats and of an 
intoxicating beverage made with hemp leaves. la a vast number of instances this 
festival is thus closed with scenes of the most shameful intoxicatien^ almost all tb^ 
Hindoos in Bengal think it duty to indulge to a certain degree in tMnking this lU 


quor at this festival. 

Presents to the brarahnns and their wives are made on ea<)h of the fifteen days ofi 
the festival by the person at whose house the image is set i^p^ if he be very rich. II 
he be not rich enough to bear so great an expence^ he gives preseQt$ on the nino oc 
three last days of worship, and if be be still poorer, on the last day. These presente 
consist of gold and silver female ornaments, silk and cloth garments^ brass and othei; 
metal dishes, basons, &c. Some persons expend (ke greatest sum$ on tbe danc<i4 
and other exhibitions^ and others in feasting and giving presents to bra^hfins* 

Some classes of Hindoos, especially those who are the disciples of Vishnoo, do 
not offer blooc^y sacrifices to Doorga, though they celcibrate this festival with much 
shew. These persons, instead of slaying animals, cut pumkins in two, or some otber 
substitute, and offer them to the goddess. 


In the month Choitrii a number of Hindoos hold a festival to this goddess^ after 
(he example of king Sporiitn* 

Vf rm Qomim£M.r-DoorgaJ] OF THE HINDOOS, Vf 

Many Hindoos are initiated into the rites by which this goddess becomes (heir guar* 
dian deity ; and as she is considered as the image of the divine energy, her 4i«ciple8 
iwe -catted Shaktus 4 a word signify ing energy. 

Images i)f Doorga made of i^old, silver, brass, &c« are preserved by many and 
irarshipped daily« 

In the year 1868, abramhun of Calcutta, ivbo had celebrated the' worship of Ooor« 
ga, pretended that he had seen the goddess in a dream, who had declared that she 
would not descend into the river tiU he had sacrificed his eldest son to her; and that 
.'When the people went to convey the image to the river^ it was found so heavy that 
ilicould aot be lifted^ Y^t^t crpwds of ^ople flecked to see this new miracle, many 
of whom made offerings to this terror-inspiring goddess, and others assisted the poor 
man, by their contributions, to pacify the goddess in some way.^^onsistent wJtfa the 
preservation of his son. 

One of the Tiintrus coaiiiins an account of an incarnation of Doorga ia the form of 
the jackal, in order to carry the child Krisbnu over the river Yumoona, trheo he waa 
flying from king Kungsu. Some of the heterodox Hii|d«OB, called vamachanes, feed 
the jackal daily, by placing the oQSsriiigs in acorner dfthe honse, or ne^x their dwell* 
logs, and .then calling the godd^s<in the form of «onie one of these animals) to come 
imd partake of th^m. As this is done at the hour when the jackals come out of theic 
lurking places to seek for food, one of these animals isometimes comes and eats the 
oifferinga in the presence of the worshipper ^ and this is not wonderful when he finds 
food in &is j^ce every day* Images o( the jackal are made in «ome parts of Ben- 
gal and worshipped, so|]^times alone and at others with the images of Doorga and 
Shmiishaan-KalSi. S<wie Hindoos bow to the Jackal ^ if it pass by a person on his 
IpR^ it is a fojrtttnaie ^men. 

The cow in regained by tbe Hindoos as ptform of Doorga, and entiled BhuguvutSe. 

This goddess has a thousand names, among which are Katyayunee, or, the daugh- 
ter of the sage Katyu,— ^oureS, the yellow coloured,— >Kalee, the black •«—Hoimii- 


M H I S T R Y, L I T E a A.T U B Ei ajtd R B^L I G I ON, [Paet hi. Chap. i. 

viifee, the daughter of Himaluj^n.— leshwuiei, the goddess.— Shiva, the givei of 
good. — Bhuvanee, the wife of Shivii. — Survu-mungula, she who blesses all. — Upui- 
na, she who amidst religious austerities abstained from eating erea leaves. — ParvuteB, 
the daughter of the mountain.— Doorga, she who destroyed the giant Doorgu; the iu- 
accessible.— Chundika, the tenrible.— IJmbika, the mother of the universe. 


2'he ten forms of Door gm. 

THIS goddess is said to have assumed ten different forms' in order to destroy two 
giants, Shoombhu and Nishoombhu.. 

The following account of these wars is translated from the Markund^yu pooraniR 
At the close of the tr^ta joogu, these two giants performed religious austerities for 
10,000 years, the merit of which actions brought Shivu from heaven,* who discover- 
ed that by these works of ei^traordlnary disvotion they sought to obtain the blessing 
of immortality. Shivu reasoned long with them, and endeavoured to persuade thenr, 
though in vain, toaskforany other blessing short of immortality. Being dented^they 
entered upon more severe austerities, which they continued for another thousand 
years, when Shtvu again appeared, but refused to grant what they asked for. They 
How suspended themselves with their heads downwards over a slow fire, till the blood 
streamed from their heads ; and contimied thus for 800 years, till the gods began to 
tremble^ lest, by performing such rigid acts of hc^iness,. they should be supplanted 
oa their thrones. The king of the gods assembled a council and ampar ted to them hie 
fears : the gods admitted that there was great ground for fear, but asked what remedy 
there was. Agreeably to the advice of Indru, Kundurpu, (€upid> with Humbha and 
Tilottuma, the most beautiful of the cesiestial courtezans, were sent to fill the minds 
of these giants with sensual desires %- and Kundurprt letting fiy his- arrow, wounded 
them both ; upon which^ awaking from their absorption, and seeing two beautiful 

* It IS t maiimof the Hindoo religion^ that by perfoioiing religioas aoalerities the god& become subject to the 
irtthcs of men» 

OrnscoDDfiMCs.— Doorfj^r.] OFTHEHINDOOS. M 


women, they weie taken in the snare, and abandoned their devotions. With these 
women they lived 5000 years, after which they b^n to think of the folly of thus 
renouncing their hopes of immortality for the sake of sensual gratifications. They 
8QS]>ected that this must have been a contrivance of Indru's; and driving the courtc« 
asans back to heaven, renewed their devotions, cutting the flesh off their bones, and 
making burnt oflecings of it to Shivu ; which they continued for another 1000 years^ 
till they became entire skeletons, when Shivu again appeared, and bestowed upon 
them this blessing-^that in riches and strength they should excel the gods. 

Being thus exalted above the gods, they soon began to make war with them. After 
various success on both sides, the giants were every where victorious, and Indru, and 
all the gods, reduced to the most deplorable state of wretchedness, solicited the in« 
terference of Briimha and Vishnoo ; but they referred them to Shivu ; who also declared 
thai he could do nothing for them : when, however, they reminded him that through 
his blessing they had been ruined, he advised them to perform religious austerities 
to Doorga. They did so ; and after some time the goddess appeared ; gave them her 
blessing, and immediately, disguised like a common female carrying a pitcher of 
water, passed the assembled gods. This female asked them whose praise they were 
chanting? While she uttered these words, she assumed her proper form, and re- 
plied—* They are celebrating my praise/ The new goddess then disappeared, and 
ascended mount Himalnyii, where Chiindu and Mundu, two of Shoombhu and Ni« 
shoombhii's messengers, resided. As these messengers wandered on the moun- 

tain^ they saw the goddess, and were exceedingly struck with her charms, which they 
described to their masters ; and advised them to engage the affections of this female 
even if they gave her all the glorious things which they had obtained in plundering 
the heavens of the gods. Shoombhu sent ShoogrSvu, a messenger, to the goddess, to 
inform her that the riches of thfe three woilds were in his palace ; that all the offer- 
ings which used to be presented to the gods were now offered to himj and that all 
fliese riches, offerings, &c. should be her's, if she would come to him. The god- 
dess replied that this offer was very liberal; but she had resolved, that the person 
whom she married bnust first €onquer her in war, and destroy her pride. ShoogrSvii, 
H11 willing to retnm unsuccessful, still pressed for a favourable answer ; promising 
that he would engage to conquer her in war, and subdue her pride; and asked in an au- 

M 2 

100 HISTORY, LITERATURE, akd RELlGiaN^ [PAWiifc CukrtU 

thoritativeiitrain ^^ Did sbekndw his master, before wltom none of the tnbabiiants oftIi#^ 
three worlds had been abl& to stand, wbetltergods, bydras, or men ?. Hcmt then could 
she, a female^jlhink of resisting hi» offers Mf his master had ordered 'hhn, he would bwn^ 
compelled her ta^o intahis presence immediatdj/ She said all this. was rery correciy 
hnt that she had taken her resolation>.and exhorted hia^, therefove, to pemnde his mas^ 
ter to come and try. his strength with- her. Themessengec wentto his master>Jind relate 
ed what he had heard from this female ; on hearing which Shoombhu was filled wiilk* 
lage,. and ttiihout making any reply, oalled fox DhoomIochum\.bis commander iiirv 
chief,., and gave him orders to go to Ilimaluyu, andseize a certain goddess (giving 
him particular direations>|w and bring him,, and ifany ailempted tarescneher^ , 
utterly to .destroy them. The commander went to Himaliiyi], andacqnaiitting, the 
goddess with his master's orders^jshe^smiliAg, invited.him to exeeiUe them ; bnt,.oa 
the ai^roach:«of (his hero^. sha<eet up. a dreadful roar^^ as as usuaLamong Ihe Hindoo 
tirarriors whea two combataiite meet,^by which he wa«rreduced to aahas ; a&tx whiish . 
she destroyed the army, of thegia:nt,JeaiHng only,a fewfogitivestocommunioate the 
tidings. iSfaoombhu and Nlshoombhu, infuriated,. sent Cfaonilaand Mandu, who, on 
ascending the mountain,4>erceived a/emale sitting on an ass, laughing ; but on seeing 
them she became full of rage, anddiew to .her^.ten,..twen<y,,pr thirty^of their araiy at 
a time, devouring them like fruit<. . She next seized xMundu by the hak, cut off his 
head, .and, holding it over her mouth>.drank the blood.. Chfmdti^on seeing the other 
commander destroyed in^tbis-manner,. came to^close/qnarters with the goddess; but 
she, mounted on a lion,, sprang on him,jind dispatching him as she had:done MundiV. 
devoured pa^t of bis army, and dmnk the.blood of the greater p^rt of the rest. The 
two giants no sooner.heard this alarming, news,, than thejisi resolved to go themselves, . 
and engage the furious goddess ; for wbich^urpose they . collected aU their forces, aa 
infinite number of giants,..and matched to HimaliiyUd» Xhe gods looked d^o with 
s^tonishment on this army. of giants, and ull ihfrgoddesse&^descended to heIp<Muha«- 
may a (Doorga), who however soon destroyed them» . Riiktu-Yeejfi, the principal com* - 
mander under Shoombhu and NishoombhiV seeing all bis men destroyed, eaoountered:'. 
the goddess in. person ; but though she filled him with wi>unds,.,from every drop of 
blood which fell ta the grouudaroseia thousand giants equal in strength to Kuktu-veejii. 
himself yf 'hence innumerable enemies surrounded fioorga^and the gods . were filled. 

Ot rm coMm^.-^Doorgtu] OF' THE HINDOOS^ 


t?ith alarm at this amaeing -sight. At length Chundee^a goddess Ti^ho had assisted^ 
KaleS in the engagement,, promised that if she would open her mouth, and drink his 
Mood before it fell on the ground, shelChnndSe) would engage the giant,.and destroy- 
the whole of .his strangely^formed ofispring. Kalee eonsen(cd,,and this eommander 
and his armj were soon dispatched. Shoombhii and Nishoombhn,. in a state of des*' 
peration, next engaged the goddess in single eombat,, Shoorabhu making the first on* 
set. The battle was dreadful, inconceivably dreadful, oii both sides,., till at last both 
the giants wefe killed, and Kalee-sat down to- feed on the carnage she had made. The- 
gods and goddesses then chantedthe praises of the celestial heroine, and she in return^^ 
bestowed ablessing on each*. 

After the dcstrndfon ofthese enemies of the godist, tBestm (Sooryii) shone respfen— 
dently forth ; the wind (Vayoo) blew salulnriously ^ the air became pure ; • the goclff- 
ascended- thdt throne« ; the hydras attended to the duties of their religion without* 
fear ; the 9ages performed their devotions withoirt interruption ; and the people ai-' 
large were restored to happiness^ 

The Cfinndei; a part oflhe Markundlyu poorann, places tffese forms of Doorga in the • 
following order : First, as Doorga,- she i»ceivod the messenger of the giants; 9. asDTi* 
shubhooja,*- she destroyed part of their army ; 3. a8Binghu-vahioee,+ she fought witb> 
Kuktu«T6ejn ; 4* as Mfifiishu-mnrdinee, j:'8he slew SBbombha, in the form of a buffalo ; 
5^ as Jugtiddhatree,!^ she overcame the army of the giants ; &; as Kal6e,[| she destroy- 
ed Ruktu-^vegu ; 7. as Mooktu-k6shee,* she again overcame the army of the giants ; * 
8. as Tara,+ she killed Shoombhu; 9. as €hinnu-mustuka,:^ she killed Nishoombhuj- 
10. as Jiigudgouree,^ she was praised by all the gods» 

Such of the above forms as are hbnouredby separate festivals, wiH be noticed hbre^ 
after under theii different name^. 

* Having ten vrosi t Sitting on* a Koo. t Destroyer of tbe boffilo, [^\t. o f SboombYiS 

in tbisTons], § Mother of the worl(«. ^Skt biadfe- «^l\'4ih flowing bair^ 

tSsTiour. tHeadlc*^ • JThej^Uow. 




THIS goddess with yellow garments is represented as fitting on a lion ; ske lias 
/our hands ; in one a sword; in another a spear ^ with a tliird is forbidding fear^ and 
JHriththe fourth bestowing a blessing. 

Man J people make this image, and worship it in the day time, on the 9ih of the 
Jncrease of the moon, in whatever month they please, bat in general in the month 
Ashwiniior Choitrfi, for two, or three days. The ceremonies, including bloody 
sacrifices, are almost entirely thejsame as those before the image of 4Doorga. "Some* 
limes a rich man celebrates this worship at his own expetise, and^t other times seve* 
ral persons join in it ; who expect heaven as their reward. 

Some Hindoos keep in their houses images of all the following forms of Doorga, 
made ofgold, silver, brass, copper, crystal, stoa^, or mixed metal, and worship them 

SECTION xxvir. 

. Jtf iiA ish&'fnurditttt. t 

. THIS is the image 4>f a jellow woman^ sitting on a lion ; having either six orlen 
arms. In her hands are seen a conch, a discus, a club, a water-lily, a shield, a large 
spear, and the tail of a snake. 

Some persons make this image, and worship it with the accustomed ceremonies, 
including bloody sacrifices, on the 9th of tlie month Choitrin 

* She wbo sits npon « lioo. t Slie who dettroycd Mihi&h6, a giant 

Or mE GOiitkts&&.^Jiig&ddhafree.^ OF THE HINDOOS. ' 1Q3 

The Tuntru-saru declares that those T^ho iirorship this goddess will obtain present 
riches and future happiness. 

Many of the regular Hindoos, as well as the heterodox sectsy receive the initiatory 
rites of this goddess^ and adopt her as their guardian deity. 


THIS is the image of a yellow woman dressed in red, and sitting on a lion. In her 

• 4 

four hands she holds a concb^t a discus, a club, and a water-lily. 

A very popular festival in honour of this goddess is held in the month Kartikii^on' 
the 7th| 8th, and 9th of the increase of the moon, when bloody sacrifices are offered as 
at the Doorga festivaU the formulas are necessarily different. Very large suras are 
frequently expended on these occasions, especially in the illuminations^ dances,, songp, 
entertaining of bramhuiis^ &c« as many as one hundred and £Ay persons being em- 
ployed as singers and dancers, beside others who sing verses from the Chundee, the 
Krishnu-mungulu, the Ramayuntj, &c» A number of men like guards are also hired and 
placed near the temple for the sake of shew.. Much indecent mirth takes place,, and 
numbers of men dance naked before the image— oiti call this the way to heaven^ the 
venerable bramhuns smiling with complacency on these works of merits so acceptable 
tortile gods. The benefits expected from this worship are, the fruit of^mi^ritorious 
actions, riches, the gratification of every desire, and future happiness. These foiir 

things are commonly mentioiied in the Hindoo shastriis^ as promised by the gods to^^ 
their worshippers.. 

* The mother of the world. f This sfaell it Uoirn at Ibe timf s of worship. Mid at other festivali* 



THIS ts the image of a naked womaa^ painted blae, standing on the breaat ofShi- 
^u, and having four arms : the upper right arm is placed in the posture of bestow- 
ing a blessing; vrith the other she is forbidding fear^ and in her left hands she holds 
a sword and a helmet. 

The festival of this goddess is held on the 14th of tlie decrease of the moon in (he 
month ^aghu: the ceremonies are like those before the image of Kalee, but thebloody 
sacrifices are very numerous. Spirituous liquors are privately presented to the god« 
dess, at a late hour at nighty or rather early in the morning. Some of fheTIindoo 
shaslrus allow of this practice, yet it is far from being honourable. I have been 
^sredibly informed, that numbers of bramhuns, in different places, at the annual fes- 
tival bf this goddess, join in drinking the spirits which haTe been offered to her, and, 
in a state of intoxication, pass from the temples into the streets, preceded by lighted 
torches, dancing to -the sound of music^ and singing indecent songs* Some are 

hugging one another ; others fall down quite intoxicated ; others lose their way, and 
go along lifting up their hands, dancing and singing alone. The purer Hindoog 

stand gazing at a considerable dibtanccj lest they sfaouldlie dragged among this crowd 
of drunken bramhnns. 

The benefits promised to the worshippers of this goddess are riches now, and hea« 
Ten hereafter. 

Very many persons are initiated into Uie rites of this|;oddest as their guasdiaa 

* Of lowing bair* 

0? T« Miu>E5SE9.^rarfl.] OF THE HINDOOS. JO^ 



THIS is the image of a black woman, with four arms, sdmdtng on (be breast of 
Shivu : in one hand she holds a sword , in another a giant's head, with the others she 
is bestowing a blessing, and forbidding fear. 

The worship of Tara is performed in the night, in different months, at the total 
wane of the moon, before the image of Siddh^shwuree, when bloody sacrifices are of- 
fered^ and it is reported, that even human beings were formerly immolated in secret 
to this ferocious deitj, who is considered by the Hindoos as soon incensed, and not 
unfrcquently inflicting on an importunate worshipper the most shocking diseases, as 
a Tomiting of blood, or some other dreadful complaint which soon puts an end to his 

Almost all the disciples of this goddess are from among the heterodox ; many of 
them, however, are learned men, Tara being considered as the patroness of learning. 
Some Hindoos are supposed to have made great advances in knowledge through the . 
favour of this goddess; and many a stupid boy, after reading some incantations cou^ 
taining the name of Tara^ has become a learned man. 


Chinnu-mustulca. t 

THIS is the image of a naked yellow woman with her head half severed from her 
body,t wearing a necklace of skulls, and standing on Ibc body of Shivu. She id 

* The Deliverer. t llie headiest. 

X The T&iitrUt give the followiog eiplaiiation of this monstroos feature ia the image of this goddess: At a 
cert^n time, not being able to procure any of the glantifor her prey, to satisfy her thirst of blood, Chinnli-mSst&ka 
•ctaally cut her own throatt that the blood issuing thence might spoat up into her niooih. 1 have seen a picture 
of tint image, agreeiog with this description ; and at Chachra, in Jessorci such an innge may be seeu at present, the 
liftlf^evered head resting on the left hand of the goddess, and streams of blood faliing into her mouth*. 

lOfl HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part in. Chap.x. 


surrounded with dead bodies, has a scj^mitar in one liand, a giant's skull in auother, 
and with two otliers is forbidding fear, and bestowing a blessing. 

This image is not made at present, but the worship maj be celebrated before the 
Images of any other female deities. Those who receive the initiatory rites of this god- 
dess worship her daily before the shalgramu, or water, or flowers, or an incantatioa 
written on a metal dish.* She promises her disciples riches, learning, or absorption,t 
but principally riches. Some people are atraid of becoming her disciples, lest, in a 
£t of anger^ she should bring upon them a violent death 4 



THIS is the whole length figure of a yellow woman, with four arms ; holding in her 
hands a conch, a discus, a club, and a waler-lily . She is mostly worshipped on the 
7lh, 8th, and 9th of the increase of the moon in Maghii. Very few persons learn tha 
initiatory rites of this goddess. 

• Before any one of tb«fe things, the worship of toy of the gods may be performed ; but the slialgramxi is niositj 

t A person can receive only one blessing at a time from bis god. The Hindoos, however, relate a story of a 

bliud man who pat a trick on his guardian deity by obtaining three blessings from him at once; he asked that he 
might see — bis child— eat from off a golden dish every day. He was then childless. 

X The following story, current among ibe Hindoos,! give as a proof of the dread In which tlicy live of some of their 
deities: A bramhftn whu had received the initiating incantation of this goddess, to avoid dying an unnaturaJ death 
vted to confine himself to bis house, wbe.e, however, a hatchet, bung op for sacnficiug animals, fell upon and killed 
him as he lay asleep. 

' ^ The yellow. 

OPTH«a6DDEssEs.~Pa^2/aj«oa*A5a.] OF THE HINDOOS. IG7 



THE image of this deity is never made ; though she is sometimes worshipped on the 
7th, Sth, and Sth of the moon in Maghu, before a pan of water, or some other proper 
substitute. The officiating bramhiin, in yellow garments, presents yellow flowers, flesh, 
fish, and spirituous liquors, to her : the animals sacrificed are hot numerous. 

This goddess is frequently worshipped in the hope of procuring the removal, the 
injury, or the destruction, of enemies, or whatever else the worshipper desires — which 
is sometimes the wife of another . He makes no doubt, if he can please the goddess 
i}j presents, or flattery, or by inflicting, for her sake, certain cruelties onhis body, 
'that she will be disposed to grant him even this last favour. If the ceremonies be not 
performed in strict conformity to the rules laid down in the sbastru, it is believed that 
f the worshipper will be deprived of reason, or of speech, or that some other dreadful 
calamity will befal him. 

In the burnt sacrifice presented to (his goddess, turmeric, oil, and salt, form the 
principal ingredients. The Hindoos believe that after performing the proper ce- 
^tismonies for the destruction of an enemy, the goddess soon complies with the prayers 
i)f the worshipper. Shoodrus^ of course, employ bramhuns in thus attempting to accom* 
plish their murderous wishes. Particular forms of praise and of petition, referring in 
many cases to the injury or destruction of enemies, addressed to this goddess, kre con- 
tained in the Tiwtni-saru. 

• Of feir-exdtin^ coontenancv. 
N 2 

loa HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Pabtiii. Cuaf. i. 


THE image of this idol is never made, but is worshipped in the night wben- 
ever a person chooses, which is, generally, when he wants to injure or destroy ano- 
ther. The officiating bramhun dressed in red, and ^earbg a roodrakshu necklace, of- 
fers, among other things, red flowers, spirituous liquors, and bloody sacrifices. Tlie flesh 
of crows, or cats, or of some other animal, after having been dipped in spirituous Ii« 
quors, sometimes makes a part of the burnt*offerings, the worshippers believing that the 
flesh of tbje enemy for whose injury these ceremonies are performed, will swell on his 
body as the sacrificed flesh does on the fire. Particular forms of praise arc also re- 
peated before this image to accomplish the destruction of enemies. I here give a spe« 
cimen : ^ Oh ! Prutyungira, mother ! Destroy, destroy my enemies ! Kill ! kill ! Redaoe 
*< them to ashes ! Drive them away ! Devour them ! Devour them ! Cut them in two 1 
" Drink, drink their blood ! Destroy them root and branch ! With thy thunder-boltf 
" spear, scymitar, discus, or rope, destroy them/* 

A story to the following purport is very current among the Hindoos : Jafar-aIee*I(ha, 
the nabob of Moorshudubad, was much attached to Ramu-kantu, his Hindoo treasurer, 
who was at enmity with Kalee-shiinkuru, a very learned Hindoo, and a great worriiip- 
per of the female deities. The latter, to eflTcct the destruction of Hamn*kaatu, be- 
gan to worship the goddess Prutyiingira. He had not performed the ceremonies 
jQOg, before Ramii-kantu became sick, and it was made known to him and the nabob, 
that Kalee-shunkuru was thus employed. The nabob, full of rage, ordered that KaI5- 
Bhi'mkuru should be brought before him : but he fled before the messengers could seize 
him, and began to perform these ceremonies for thedastruction of the nabob. A servant, 
mistaken for Kalee-shunkuru, was, however, seized, but he bribed the messengers, 
that they might protract his journey as much as possible. They did so, and the 

• The well proportioned. 

OrTaccoDi»iS8B^.-*I7itiii{.j)6^ifa.] OF THE HINDOOS. 109 

day before they arrived at Moorshudiibad the nabob died, — I give this sfory to shew, 
vhat a strong possession the popular superstition has taken of the minds of the 
people, who, while smoaking together, listen to these stories with the utmost eager- 
ness and surprize^ as the villagers in England tell stories current amongst them while 
fitting round the w interns fire. 



THIS image m^y be made standing, or sitting on the water-lily : in the right hand 
is a spoon, like that with which the Hindoos stir their boiling rice, and in the other 
a lice dish : Shivn, as a naked mendicant^ is standing before the image asking relief. 

The worship paid to this form of Doorga is performed on the Tth, 8tb, and 9th days 
of the moon's increase in the month Choitru : bloody sacrifices, fish^ and syiritaous 
liquors are among the offerings. Unnu-poorna being the guardian deity of many of 
the Hindoos, (who have a proverb amongst ttiem, that a sincere disciple of this g0(I« 
dess never wants rice,) very great festivities take place at this festival, accompanied 
with music, dancing, filthy songs, and every thing else calculated to deprave the 
heart » 

A^ Hindoo rising in a mornings before his eyes are well open, repeats the name of 
this goddess — ^ Unnu-poorna — Unnu-poorna,' and hopes, that through her favour 
he shall be well fed that day. When one Hindoo wishes to compliment another 
on his riches or liberality, he says, ' Oh ! Sir, your house is as full of riches as that 
of tjnnfi-poorna :' or, if he speak of another when absent^ he says, ^Sucha one^ in 
liberality, is like Ucnu-poorna. 

^ She who fills with food ; from ftnoS, foodi and poorafi, full. 

llO HISTORY, lilTERATURE, and RELIGION, LP^btiii, Cbap. l 



Gunish H'jiinunee. 

THIS name Doorga assumed after the birth of Gun&hu: she is here represented as 
f ittiiig on the water-lily, dressed in red, and supporting \vith one arm the infant Gu« 


neshu atlthe breast, while the other hand rests on (he knee of the infant. 

A small festival in honour of this goddess is celebrated in th€ month Ugruhayunfl, 
or Phalgoonu, on the 7th, 8th, and 9ili of the increase of the moon. Some years ago, 
at Gooptee-para, a village about forty miles north of Calcutta, a great festival was 
held in honour oT Guneshu-jununee, when fifty thousand roopees or more were ex- 
pended. The bramhuns of the village collected money to defray the expences; 
some gave one thousand, others two, and others five thousand roopees ; and crowds 
came two or three days journey to be present. The dancing, singing, music, &c, 
began a month before the principal day of worship : all the visitors were entertained, 
and more than two thousand animals were slain^ 


Krishnu'krora. t 

THIS is an image of Doorga giving suck to Krishnu, to destroy the poison wfaick 
he had received in a quarrel with Kaleeyu, a hydra. 


A festival in honour of this goddess Is held on the 7th, 8th, and 9th of the increase 
^f the moon, in the day, in the month Maghii. 

The history of this idol is thus related: In the west of Hindoost^han a stone image 

* The moiber of G&u6j>hlS. t She who holds Krlihnll in her arfflt. 

Of ras OODDISSB9.— JTrijftftitJtrora.'l OFTHEHINDOOSw I IX 

was once found in a pool ; and no information conid be obtained lo what it related^ un**^- 
til a Brumhucharee referred them to the following story in one of the Tnntrus : In the 
neighbourhood of Vrinda-vunu, by tlie river Yiimoona, Soubhfiree, a sage, for a long 
time performed religious austerities. One day, while in the midst of his devotions^ ' 
he saw a shukooln and some other fish playing together ; with which sight he wa» 
much pleased, till Guroorii, the king of the birds, descended into the water, and^natch« 
ed up the shukoola fish» The sage, unable to punish Gurooru, pronounced a curse 
upon this bird-god, or any other bird, who should hereafter come to destroy the fish 
in this spot ; and this curse was afterwards the means of preserving the king of the 

, hydras from the wrath of Gurooru in the following manner: The mountain Mnluyu 
was the resort of many serpents, who daily collected a number of frogs, &c. and pre- 
sented them to Gurooru, to conciliate him, and to prevent his devouring them* At 
last Kaleeyu, the king of the hydras, commanded his subjects to give the frogs to him,, 
promising to protect them from Gurooru; but the latter on his arrival finding no food^ 
attacked and overcame KaieEyu ; who, though defeated, amused Gurooru by rehearsing- 
some verses which no one understood but himself,* till he had made good his retreat 
into a deep place of thfe river, where Gurooru durst not follow him for fear of the curse 
of the sage. In consequence of the serpent's remaining in this spot, the poison pro* 
ceeding from his body had destroyed all the trees, water, &c, for two miles round, and 
whoever drank of the wafer, died ; about wliicli time Kri^huu was born, who in his 
childhood, on a certain day, discovering that a dreadful mortality existed among- 
the cows and (he boys who kept them, asked the reason^ and was informed that they 
had 'been poisoned by the waters of the Yiimoona. Krishnu then jumped from a tree 
into the river ; overi^ame the serpent, and drave him out of the place, Kaleeju, full 
of fear, asked where he was to go, for that Gfirooru wouhl certainly kill him. Krisbnii 
putting his foot on his head, assured him that when Gurooru discovered the mark of 
his foot, he would fiot destroy htm. The waters now became wholesome ; the trees 
gained their verdure ; and the boys and cows were restored to life ; but the pain arts* 

, ing from the poison in the wounds which Kaleeyu had given to Krishnu was intolera- 
ble. He therefore prayed to Doorga, who made him suck the milk from her owa 
breast, b^ which be was immediately restored to health. 

* These Tcrsest it it sa:d| now compose one of (he kaTyti& called PingulS* 

lit HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Paux m. Ciixf.u 



A CLAY image of this goddess is set iip at Shyeniihatee, a village in Burdwan^ 
wliicli is become a place of great resort for pilgrims : vast multitudes of buffiilos, sheep, 
goats, &c. are oflfered at different times to this goddess, not unfrequenlly for the de- 
struction of enemies : sheep and goats are offered every day ; and it is said that for- 
merly human sacrifices were offered to this goddess. Many persons, it is affirmed, have 
obtained the privilege of conversing with their guardian deities in consequence of wor- 
shipping this image with very shocking ceremonies, while others thus employed are 
said to have been driven mad; yet some persons receive the name of Vishalakshw as 
their guardian deity. 



IMAGES of this form of Doorga are not made at present in Bengal, bnt this god- 
dess is worshipped by many of the bramhiins, &c. before a metal cup containing 
the water of the Ganges. This worship is celebrated daily, or at the time of the foU 
or change of the moon, or when the sun enters a new sign, or on the 9tli of the moon* 

The Kaliku pooranu directs that birds, tortoises, alligators, fish, buffalos, buHs^ 
he-goats, ichneumons, wild boars, rhinoceroses, antelopes, guanas, rein-deer, lions, 
tyg^^rS) ni<^n> ainl blood drawn from the offerer^s own body, be offered to this goddess* 
The following horrid incantation is addressed to the goddess Chundce, when offer* 
ing an animal in order to effect the destruction of an enemy : << O goddess, of horrid 

• Of large vr bcaatiful eyes, f ';hc wrathfttK 

Or rai GODJMSusis.^Doorga.] OF THE HINDOOS* -US 

f form, O ChuDdika ! eat, devour, such a one, my enemy, O consort of fire ! Salufa« 
^ lion to fire ! This is the enemy T^ho has done me mischief, now personated by an 
( animal ; destroy him, O Miihamaree ! Sph(gng ! sph6ng ! eat, deyour/ 

Women sometimes make a tow to ChiindeS to engage her to restore their chil« 
dren to health, or to obtain some other favour. If a person recover in whose name 
such a vow has been made, his neighbours ascribe it to Chundee. 

The exploits of this goddess are celel^rated in a poem written by the poet KSnkunii, 
and recited on various occasions, under the name of Chundee-ganu, or Chundie-yatra. 


Other forms of Door ga. 

Kamaihya.* — This goddess is worshipped daily by persons of property befo^ 
a pan of water, or some other substitute ; and also by many shaktus on the 8tfa of the 
moon in both quarters* Those who worship her monthly, generally present some partis 
cular request in favour of tbemselFes or families. At the Doorga festival this goddess 
is also worshipped with many ceremonies and at a great expcnce. A few persons receive 
the initiatory rites of this goddess, and worship her as their guardian deity* 

Vindhyu'TosindeA-^This is the image of a yellow female, sitting on alion, with ei- 
ther four or eight arms : she is worshipped in the month Yoishakhu, on the 9th, or on 
the Till, 8th or5th, of the increase of the moon : at Benares she is worshipped daily* 
The destruction of several giants is ascribed to this goddess* 

3/a«gfi/tf.CAiiifdiAra4— This is the image of a yellow female, sitting on three skulls, 
clothed in red, having in her right hand a book, and in her left a roodrakshu bead- 
roll. She is mostly worshipped by females, or rather by bramhuns employed by 

• She ulio it called Desire. t She who dwelt on moantVindhjS. t Tl» fcrwnt BencftctrcK 


114 HISTORY, LITERATURE, amd RELIGIOIf, [Part in. CuAp.n 

them, in eonsequence of some particular distresg in their fitmilies ; when thej make . 
a vow to the goddess to worship her a certain number of times if she will deliver 
them. Even the wives of Musalmans sometimes send oJflPeriDgs to the house of a bram- 
hua to be presented to her with prayers. In the month Poushu a small festival is 
held in honour of this goddess. 

XimSlikaminee.*— This is the image of a feioale sitting on the water-lilj, swalloir- 
ing an elephant, while with the left hand she is pulling it out of her throat, t— She i« 
wonbipped on the 8th of Voishakhn, with the usual ceremonies and festlYities. 

HqjU'raJishwuree.X— This goddess is represented as sitting on a throne, the three 
feet of which rest on the,heads of Bromha, Yishnoo, and Shiva. She is worshipped 
on the 7th, 8th and 9th of Voishakhu, with the ceremonies common to all the femate 
deities to whom bloody sacrifices are offered. 

YoogadyaS is represented as sitting on a lion, baring ten arms.— A festiTal lA 
honoor of this goddess is held on the last day of Voishakho, at KshSra, a Tillage 
in Bardwan, where many animah are slain, and large quantities of spirituous liquors 
offered : the goddess at the time of worship is taken out of a tank near the temple, it 
is supposed that not less than 100,000 people assembleat this pUice on this occasion. 
Human sacrifices, I am informed, were formerly offered to this godde8S.-8o numer- 
ous are the sacrifices, that the water of the pool in which the dead bodies atethrowo 
immediately after decapitation, becomes the colour of blood. These bodies are taken 
out of the pool again in a Uttte tim<^ after the sacrifice. The disciples of this goddesa 
are rery numerous. 

mroonamSsfee^-la some places the image ofthis goddess is set op and worship- 
ped daily. At the fcsiivals of Doorga, Kalee, &c. she is worshipped in a more 
splendid manner. Smnepersons moke vows to this goddess in times of distress, and 
many receive the initiatory rites hy which she becomes their guardian deity. 

. She who .it. on .he w^.r-Hl,. t ThU Imafie i. -id to owe !u rU. to . »« JH «« ••«"'^' *' "^^ 

rtnrt,. -.rch.nt. the p.rUc«!.r, of which «. reU.ed in .he K».ce-k«aVta«. » Th, godde- who got^n.. 

R8«.^Vi.bnoo.«dSWTa. JShewho.xi.««lbefore,he,oo8aK I The co».p«««..«.. 

0» Twx mo9iitMSES.^Do9rga.'i OF THE HINDOOS. 



Other forms of Doorga* 



Nitya, ^ 








Cbundfi-nayika,^ ^ 

Priichunda,^* ' 
















AU these goddesses are worshipped at the festivals of Doorga, as well as at other 
times, before the proper representative of a god, as water, the shalgramu, &c. but their 
images are not now made in Bengal. xMany persons receive the initiatory rites of these 
deities, and pay their devotidns daily to the particular goddess whom they have 
chosen as their guardian deity. Bloody sacrifices, fish, and spirituous liquors, are 
preMnted to these goddesses. The last sixteen are worshipped when rice is first 
given to a child, at the investiture with the poita, at the time of marriage, and in 
general at all the ceremonies performed for a son before marriage. Juyli^oorga is 
worshipped to obtain deliverance from danger. 

1 She who gotetn. the three world., he.Teii. eoHh. .nd the world of th. hjdra^ _' * ^* *^,Tltll 

™. « , .• ATh. n»i<e.watth* 5Thede«liojeroftbegi»nt 

execotes hex wUI. 3Th«B»erlMtiDg. 4The ptaiw^-wottnjr. ,/,-.' bti,. 

Doorgl. « sue who wield.the weapon of 7 The Great Godde« of Fortune. 8 The 

uJ^. 9 Th. be..t, of the three world- 10 The godde.. of f~e.,.. U '^^J'^^y-' ^'^ 

gU»tChB»d«. ,.11.wr;thf.l. «Th.f«r:o«.. "^''•'''"-''^•'•'Tj'";:'" psL 

S;r«.o,e.fe.r. ICThe wifeofShWl ' " ^hejellow 18Sh.who»Uon thew^e,-^^^^ 19^She 

whotelUthetrathofaU. SOTh.wi*. SI The «.«« of .11. «J'"' '"*■"'"• -,.. Comforwr 

«Thecel«t»lbe„,me. « She who^r then-.... ^ «f «»• . ''^'^sTZ 

WDhto. S9TheNo.ri.her. 30 The Patient. 3lTh.godde««f..«ta. MShewho 

pMttde* erer the geaeratioM ol meo. > 

o s 

no HISTORY, LITERATURE, ahd RELIGION, [Partiu. Cnip.r. 

Beside the above forms of Doorga, tbere are manj others, whose names end with 
the word Bhoiruvee, viz. the terrific ; and temples consecrated to Bhoiruvn and Bhoi- 
riivee are erected at many of the holy places visited by the Hindoo pilgrims. When 
a person performs any of the ceremonies of Hindoo worship at these places he must 
first, on pain of meeting with some misfortune, worship these two deities. 



THIS goddess may also be considered as a form of Bhuguviilee, or Doorga. Ac- 
cording to the Chundee, the image of Kalee at present worshipped in Bengal, had its 
origin in the story of Ruktu-veejn, already inserted in page 100. Kalee was so overjoy* 
•d at the victory she had obtained over this giant, that she danced till the earth 
shook to its foundation, and Shi vil,. at the intercession of the gods, was compelled to 
go to the spot to persuade her to desist. He saw no other way, however, of prevail- 
ing, than by throwing himself among the dead bodies of the slain. When the god- 
dess saw that she was dancing on her husband, she was so shocked , that to express her 
surprize she put out her tongue to a great length, and remained motionless; and 
she is represented in this posture in almost all the images now made in Bengal. 

The Udhyatmu Ramayiinu* gives another story from which the image of Kalei 
may have originated r Ramu, when be returned home with ^eeta from the destruction 
of Ravunu, began to boast of bis atchievements before his wife ;. whosmiled and said, 
' You rejoice because you have killed a Ravnnu with ten hea^s r but what would you 
say to a Ravunu with 1000 heads ?' * Destroy him,'' said Rarau. Seeta,. again smil- 
ing, advised him to stay at home; but he, collecting all the raonkie8,.the giants, and 
his own soldiers together, with Seeta, Lukshmunfi, Sbiitrrighnu, and BhuriitiV immedi- 
ately departed for Sh&tu-dweepu to meet this new Ravunu,. sending Hunoomanu before 

• There are four RomajSnus, one written by Valmeekec, anoiher by VjB«»-ii6va, and two otbest ctJlcd ibe 
Udbuoia and tbe Udhyatmii liamayliiili*, but tbe others are in little citimation compared with Uie wvrk of Valmc«- 


to discoyer tbe residence of this thousand-headed monster, and bring a description of 
his person. Hunoomanu, after a little plaj with him, returned to Ramu, who soon af- 
ter attacked the giant : bat he, looking forward, beheld Ramu's army as so manj 
children : and discharged three arrows, one of which sent all the monkies to Kishkin- 
dha, their place of residence ; another sent all tbe giants to Lunka (Ceylon), and the 
thirdsentall the soldiers to Ujodbya, Ramu's capital. Ramu, thunderstruck at being 
thus left alone in a moment, and thinking that all bis adherents had been at once an- 
nihilated, began to weep : when Seeta, laughing at her hnsband, immediately assum- 
ed the terrific form of Kal^, and furiously attacked this thousand-headed Ravunu. 
The conflict lasted ten years, but she at length killed the giant, drank bisblood, and 
began to dance and toss about the limbs of his body. Her dancing shook the earth to its 
centre, so thai all the gods, filled with alarm,- applied to Shi vu ; but he declared that 
be almost despaired of calming her passions, for she was mad with joy ; he promised,- 
however, to do all th^t could be expected from a god in so desperate a case ; but, paus- 
ing for some time, and seeing no other alternatiye, he, in tbe presence of the assembled 
god5,.threw himself among the dead bodies under her feet ;: Brumha called to tbe god- 
dess, and said, ^ O goddess * what art thou doing J Dost thou not see that thou art 
trampling on thy husband V She stooped, and saw Shivu under her feet, and was so 
ashamed, that she stood still, and threw out ber tongue to an uncommon length.* By 
this means Shivu saved tbe universe ; and Sgeta,.again.assuming her proper form, went 
home with Ramu and his brothers- 

In the images commonly worshipped, Kalee is representfed as a very black female, 
with four arms, having in one band a scymitar, and. in another tbe head of a giant 
which she holds by the hair; another hand is spread open bestowing a blessing ; and 
with tbe other she is forbidding fear. She wears two dead bodies for ear-rings, and a 
necklace of skulls^ and her tongue hangs down to ber chin.. The hands of several 
giants are hung as a girdle round her loins, and her tresses fall down to her heels. 
Havingdrank the blood of the giants sBe has slain in combat, her eye-brows are bloody, 
and the blood is falling in a stream down ber breast ; her eyes are red like those of a 

• When the Hindoo women ire shocked or abhamed at any thing, they pot out their towgoes, a» a mode of 
expetting their feelioga. 

lis HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [PXrt in. Cmap.i. 

drunkard. She stands with one Ie«^ on the breast of her husband Shi vu, and re&ls the 
other on his Xhigb.* 

This deitj is equal in ferocity to any of the preceding forms of Doorga. In the 
Kalika pooranu men are pointed out, amongst other'animals, as proper for sacrifice. 
It is here said that the blood of a tyger pleases the goddess for one hundred years, 
and the blood of a lion, a rein-deer, or a max, a thousand. But by the sacrifice of 
thube mek, she is pleased 100,090 years ! I insert two or three extracts from the 
Sanguinary Chapter of ihe Kalika pooranu^ < Let a human victim be sacrificed at 
a place of holy worship, or at a <;emetery where dead bodies are buried. Let the ob« 
lation be performed in the part of the cemetery called h^rukS, or at a temple of Ka« 
raakshya, or on a mountain. Now attend to the mode^ The human victim is to be 
immolated in the east division, which is sacred to Bhoiruvu-; the head is to be pre- 
sented in the south division, which is looked upon as the place of skulls sacred to Bhoi« 
rnvu, and the blood is tobe presented in the west division, which is denominated h^* 
Tuku. Having immdated a human victim, with all the requisite ceremonies at a ce- 
metery, or holy place, let the sacrificer be cautious not to cast his eyes upon it. The 
victim must be a person of good appearance, and be prepared by ablutions, and re- 
quisite ceremonies, such as eating consecrated food (he day before, and by -absti- 
nence from flesh and venery ; and must be adorned with chaplets of flowers, and be- 
smeared with sandal wood. Then causing the victim to face the north, let the sacri- 
ficer worship the several deities presiding over the different parts of the victim's 
body : let the worship be then paid to the victim himself by his name. Let him 
worship Brumha in the victim's rhiindru, i.e. cave of Biiimha, cavity in the skull, 
under the spot where the saturas coronalis and sagHttdis meet. Let him worship the 

earth in his nose, &c. ^Worshipping the king of serpents, let him pronounce 

the following incantation? ^O best of men ! O most auspicious ! O thou who art an 
* assemblage of all the deities, and most exquisite ! bestow thy protection on me5 
'save me, thy devoted ; save my sons, ray cattle, and kindred ; preserve the state, 
' the ministers belonging tp it, and all friends ; and as death is unavoidable, part 
' with (thy organs oO life, doing an act of benevolence. Bestow upon me, O most 

* The tiD8ge of Mioerra, it will be recollected, was that of a threatening Roddesa, exciting terror. Co he^ 
shield the bote the head of a gor^ou. Sir W. Jones considers Kalee as the Froserpine of the Creeks. 

OffTnaroDissES.— JTo/i?.] OF THE HINDOOS. 119 

< aaspicioas ! the bliss which is obtained by (he most austere deyotion^ by acts of 

< charity, and performance of religious ceremonies ; and at the same time, O most 
^ excellent ! attain supreme bliss thyself. May thy auspices, O most auspicious ! 

< keep me secure from rakshnsSs, pishachiis, terrors, serpents, bad princes, enemies, 

< and other erils; and, death being inevitable, charm Bfaugiivutee in thy last momenta , 
^ by copious streams of blood spouting from the arteries of thy fleshly neck/ 

When this has been done, O my children ! the victim is even as myself, and the 
guardian dcitie^ of the ten quarters take place in him ; then Brumha and all the other 
deities assemble in the victim, and be he ever so great a sinner, he becomes pure from 


tin, and when* pure, his blood changes taambrosia, and he gains the love of Maha- 
d^vee, the goddess of the yoga nidru, (i.e. the tranquil i^eposs of ike mind from an 
dksiraciion of ideas), who is the goddess of the whole universe, the very universe 
itself. He does not return for a considerable length of time in the humaa form, but 
becomes a ruler of the gunu d^vtas, and is much respected by me myself.- The 

Tictim who is impure, from sin, or ordure and urine, Kamakshyawill not even hear 
named. The bKnd, the crippled, the aged, the sick, the afflioted with ulcers^ the her- 
maphrodite, the imperfectly formed, the scarred, the timid,- the leprous,, the dM«rf<- 
ish, and th^ perpetrator of muha patuku, (heinous offences, such as slaying a bram- 
biin^ drinking spirits, stealing gold,, or defiling, a spiritual teacher^s bed)^ one under 
twefve years of 1^^ one who is impure from the death of a krnsman, &c. one who is 
impure from the death of muhargooroo, (father and mother), which impurity lasts 
one whole yeart- these- severally are unfit subjects for immolation, even though ren- 
dered pure by sacred texts. Let not a bramhun or a chuadala be sacrificed ; nor a 
prince,nor that which has been already presented to a bramhun, or a deity ^ nor the 


offspring of a prince ; nor one who has conquered in battle ; nor the offspring of a 
bramhrin,or of a kshutriyu ; nor a childless brother; nor a father ; nor a learned per- 
ton ; nor one who is unwilling ; nor the maternal uncle of the sacrilicer. The day 
previous to a human sacrifice, let trhc victim be prepared by the text nsanuslituhu and 
three d^vee gundhu shuktus, and the texts wadriingii, and by touching hia bead with 
the axe, and besmearing the axe with sandal, &c. perfume?), and then taking some of 
the sandal, &c. from off the axe,, and besmearing the victim's neck therewith. If the 
severed head of a human victim smile, it indicates increase of prosperity and long life 
to the sacrificer^ without doubt ; and if it speak^. whatever it says will come to pass/ 

\%0 inSTOIlY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Paet in. CuAF.f. 

This work further lays down directions for a person^s drawing Uood from him- 
self, and oiFcrihg it to the goddess, repeating the following incsmtation s ^ Hail! 
^ supreme delusion ! Hail ! goddess ofthe universe ! Hail! thou who fulfilest the de« 
^ sires of all. May I presume to offer thee Ihe blood of my body ; and wilt thou deign 
' to accept it, and be propitious towards me.^ 

Aperson^s cutting off his own fleshy and presenting it to the goddess as a burnt sa- 
crifice is another method of pleasing this infernal deity : ^ Grant me, O goddess ! bliss, 

* in proportion to the fervency with which I present thee with my own flesh, invok- 
' ing thee to be propitious to mc« Salutation to thee again and again^ under the mys- 
' tcrious syllables jteg, ti/fg/ 

A person^s burning his body^ by applying tlie burning wick of a lamp <o it, is also 
very acceptable to Kalee, &c. On this occasion this incantation is used : < Hail ! god" 
^dessi Salutation to thee, under the syllables iingj iing. To thee I present this auspici- 
< ous luminary, fed with the flesh of my body, enlightening all around^ and exposing 

* to light also the inward recesses of my soul/* 

It is observed in this work, that the head or the blood of an animal^ in its simple 
state, forms a proper offering to a goddess, but that flesh must be presented as a burnt- 
offering. Other Tfintrus observe, that the eating of the flesh of men, cows^ and swine, 
and drinking spirits, after these things have been offered to an idol, must be done in 
secret, or the person will commit a great crime, and sink into poverty. I am credibly 
informed that very many bramhiins in Bengal eat cow's flesh, and, after they have been 
offered toanidol, drink spirits, though none of them will publicly acknowledge it. 

Thieves frequently pay their devotions to Kalee and to all the goddesses to whom 
bloody sacrifices arc offered, under the hope of carrying on their villainous designs 
with security and success. f A gang often person;^ perhaps, agree to plunder a house^ 

• Sec Mr. BJaqaiere's translation of the Sangninarv Chapter, Asiatic Researches, vol. v.— The author hopes 
Mr. Blaquiere will excuse the liberty- he has taken of altering his spelling of S&ng!»krit& words, as he has done it mcrt- 
ly ta preserve, uniformity throughout the work. 

t One of Jopitefs names, it is well koowHi was Prc^dator, because plunder was offered to him. 

Of THE oorovMM.— iTa/Stf.l OF TH£ HINDOOS. 121 


who meet together ia adark night, under a tree where an image ofSidd&h wtiree is plac« 
ed, andf bring to the spot spirituoas liquors, fish, and other offerings. One of the 
company, a bramhun, goes through the ceremonies of worship^ at the close of which a 
bloody sacrifice is offered, and the iustrnment worshipped which is to cut through 
the wall of the house; at which time the following incantation from the Choru« 
punchashika is read : <Ot Siudhukatee! (the name of the instrument) formed by 
.^ the goddess Vishaee ! KaleS commanded thee to cut a passage into the house, to 

< cut through stones, bones, bricks, wood, the earth, and mountains, and, through 
^ the blessing of Unadya,^ to make a way by cutting the earth from the house of 
^ the MalinS to thatof Vidya,t and that the soil brought out should be carried awajf 

< by the wind. Haree-jhee:|: and Chamunda have given this blessing, and Kamak* 
* shya (Kalee) has given the commands* After the reading of this incantation, the 
thieves sit down to eat and driok the things that have been offered ; and when near« 
ly intoxicated, they gird their garments firmly round their loins; rub their bodies 
well with oil ; daub their eyes with lamp-black, and repeat an incantation to enable 
them to see in the dark ; and thus proceed tothespot, when they cut a hole through 
tbie wall, plunder the house, and sometimes murder the iahabitants« 

Some time ago, two Hindoos were executed at-Calcutta for robbery. Before 
they entered upon their work of plunder, they worshipped Kalee, and offered pray- 

* A name of Kalee, it hich means without begiontng* 

t SooDdftrfi, tbe son of Gooofi-slndhoo, raja of Kanchee-poorll, was OTercome bj tbe charms of Vid^o, tfa« 
daughter of VeeHUsingbfi, tbe raja of Burdwaa. For the pnrposes of coort»bip he concealed himself at the house 
of a flower*seller (Matinee) near the palace of Veertt-aingbfif and began to pay his devotions to the goddess Ka- 
]e€, wbo grve him this incantation, and ibe instrument Sindhbk&tee, that he might cut bis wajr lo his fair one. 
Ooe eight, however, Soond&rb was caught in ibc palace, and sciaed as a thief. As he was led from prison to tb« 
place of esecution« be composed fiftj verses in praise of the raja's daughter, which verses have since received tbe 
name of Cbor&-p&ncbashika. The Hindoos add, tbat when they were about to execute Soondfirii, ihe cords by 
which he was bound miraculously bunt asunder, and the executioners fell senseless to the ground ; in conse- 
quence, the execution was postponed, and the nest nigbt XalH appeared to Veerfi-singfa& in a dream, and di- 
rected hini to marry bia4aa|bler to Soond&rtt, who was not a thief, bet the son of the raja of Kanchee-poortt, a very 
proper person to become his son-in-law. Tbe marriage was soon after celebrated in the most splendid manner. 

I Tbe Hindoos say, tbat a female of tbe Haree cast was once honoured with an interview bytbegoddfsi 
Kamakshya, wbo delivered to her a variety of incantations, now «Md by tbo lowest casts ipM tiie most ridiculooo 
as well at bmtal and wicked purpooes. 

124 HISTORY, LITERATURE, md RELIGiaWj [Pamhi. Ghi^.i. 

ers before her image, that thej might be protected by the goddess in the act of thiev* 
iiig. It so happened, that the goddess left these disciples in (he lurch ; they were de* 
tected, tried, and sentenced to be hanged. While under sentence of death, a native 
caihoiic, in (he same place and circumstances, was visited by a Roman Cathelic 
priest to prepare hkn for death. These Hindoos now reflected, that a&KalS bad 
not protected them, notwithstanding they had paid their devotions to her, there couM 
be no hope that she would save them after death r they might as well, therefore, re- 
nounce their cast; which resolution they communicated to their fellow*prisoner, who 
procured for them a prayer from the Catholic priest, translated into the Bengalee 
language* I saw a copy of this prayer in the handi of the native catholic who gave 
me this account. Tliese men at last, out of pure revenge.upon Kalee, died in the 
faith of the Yirgin Mary, and the catholics, after the execution, made a grand fune* 
rat for them, as these persons, they said^, embraced the cathoUc faith, and renounc- 
ed their cast— yVoiR convictidn, 

AgSm-yageSshu, a learned Hiftdbo, aboat five hnndred years ago, formed the 
image of Kalee accordtng to the preceding description, and trorshipped it monthly, 
choosing for this purpose the darkest nights in the month : he made and set up the 
image, worshipped it, and destroyed it, on the same night. At present the greater 
number of the worshippers of Kalee hold a festival to her honour on the hst night 
of the decrease of the moon in the month Kartikii, and call it the Sbyama* festival. 

A few persons celebrate the worship of Kalee at the full moon m Kartiku ; the ce- 
remonies of which arc performed before a picture of this goddess drawn on a stiff mat 
•f reed, seven or eight feet long. This festitollasU three days, andon the fourth 
the picture is thrown into the river. 

Some also worship KalR for one night oothe 14lh of Uie decrease of Ihe moon, in 
themonth Maghu ; and a.few rich men do so monthly, on the test night of *b« "«>°- ' 
while others worship this goddess in the month. Jyoisht'hu, when it is called the 
Fhula.h6re&festival, onaccooat of the many mangoes, jak fruits, .&c. offered to ter, 

• Aiiam« of Kalll, weaning black. 

09tnQOMEmMB.^Kan€.^ OF TITE HINDOOS. 123 

A temjeaxBtLgOf I weot to the house of KalSe^shunkuru-ghoshii at CalcaKa^ at the 
time of the Shj^ama festival, to see the animals sacrificed (o KalS. The buildings 
where the worship was performed were raised on four sides, with an area in (|^e mid- 
die. The image was placed at the north end with the face to the south ; and the two 
side roomSf^and one of the end rooms opposite the image, were filled with spectators i 
in the area were the animaU devoted to sacrifice^ and also the executioner, \iiih Ka- 
lS*shunkuru, a few attendants^, and about twenty persons to throw the animal dowoi 
and hold it in the post, while the head was cut off. The goats were sacrificed first, 
then the bufiklos, and last of all two or three rams. In order to secure the ani« 
nuUs, ropes wece fastened rooad their 1^ ; they were then thrown down, and the 
neck placed in a piece of wood fastened into the ground, and made open at the top 
like the apace betwixt the prcmgs of a fork. After the animal's neck was fastened in 
the wood bj a peg which passed over it, the men who held it puUed forcibly at the 
heels, while the executioner, with a broad heavy axe, cut off the head at one blow ; 
the heads were carried in an elevated posture by an attendant, (dancing as he went) the 
blood running down him on all sides, into ihe presence of the goddess. Kalee*shun- 
koru, at the close, went up to the executioner, took hin\ in his«rms,'and gave him 
several presents of cloth, fcc. The heads and blood of the animals, as well as 

different meat-offerings, are presented with incantations as a feast to the goddess, af- 
ter which clarified butter is burnt on a prqpared altar of sand. Never didi see men so 
eagarly enter into the shedding of blood, nor do I think aqy butchers could slaugh* 
ter animals more expertly. The place literally swam with blood. The bleating 
of the animals, the .numbers slain, and the ferocity of the people employed, actually 
made me unwell, and I returned about nudnigbt, filled with horror and indignation* 


The gifts to bramhuns and guests at this festival are numerous, and in some in- 
stances very expensive. The bramhuns, and then the family and other guests, are 
entertained, when the spirituous liquors whieh have been presented to the goddess 
are drank privately by those who are in the secret. The festival closes with the 
dances and songs befooe the goddess* 

The reader maj form an idea how mach idolatry pievailed at the time yihtm the 



Hindoo moaarchy flourished, from the following circiunstancey whiek Mangs to a 
modern period, when the Hindoo authority in Hindoest'hanii was almost extinct: 
Raja Krishnu-chundru-rayu, and his two immediate snccessors, in the month Karti-i 
ku, annually gave orders to all the people oyer whom they ha<l a nominal authority 
to keep the Shyama festival, and threatened every oflTender with the severest penal-* 
ties on non-oompliance. In consequence of these orders, in more than ten thoa« 
sand houses, in one night, in the zillah of Krishnu-noguru, the worship of this god-« 
dess was celebrated. The number of animals destroyed could not be less than ten thou* 
sand. The officiating bra nhuns, especially those who perform retigioais ceremonies 
for shoodriis^ were greatly perplexed, as a single bramhun had to perform the ceremo^ 
nies of worship at two hundred houses, situated in difibrent villages, in one night. 
All the joiners, barbers^ or blacksmiths, in fifteen or twenty villages, in many in* 
irtances, heve but one officiating priest, the bramhuns in general being unwilling to 
incur the disgrace which arises from performing religious fervfces for shS3drfis« 

Ee8hann-chundru«rayri, the-grandson of Krishnu-cbundrn-rayii, in certain years, pre- 
sented to KalSe eighty thousand pounds weight of sweetmeats, the same quantity of 
sugar^ a thousand women's cloth garments, the same namber Of women's China silk 
garments^ a thousand offerings, ineluding rice, plantains, peas^ &c^ and immolat- 
ed a thousand buffalos,. a thousand goats, and the same number of sheep, which alto** 
gether could not cost less then ten thousand roopees, while the other expences amount- 
ed to scarcely less than- twenty thousand. To defray these expences, this raja sold' 
the greater part of his patrimony, and in this and other idolatrous customs he and 
Diher Bindoo rajas have expended almost the whole of their estaten* 

Raja Ram-Krishnii also expended very large sums of money upon the worship o^ 
Kal^. He set up a stone image of this goddess at Vurahu-niigurui on which occasion 
he is said to have spent a laclc of roopees. He also endowed this image with such 
a large revenue, that at present five hundred persons are maintained there daily. In 
tlie service of this goddess be has^ nearly reduced himself to poverty, though former- 
ly from the rents of the lands, &c. he used ta pay fifty-two lacks of roopees annual- 
ly into the Company ^s treasury. 

Or TSB QOi>»SHB4.'jra/e9.] OF THE HINDOOS. 125 

SalS if At gaardtaft deify of very man j of the Bengalees^ especially of tbe brain* 

At KalS-ghata, near Calcutta^is a celebrated image of this goddess, ' vrhom On 


fhe opinion of the Hindoos) all Asia, and the whole world worshippeth/ Having 
obtained an account of this teitrple-from a bramhun whom I sent to Kal^-ghatu for 
the purpose, I here lay it before my readers : 

The temple consists of one room, with a large pavement around it. The image 
is a large black stone to which a horrid face, partly cut and partly painted, has beea 
given ; there are neither arms nor legs, a cloth covering all the lower part which 
should be the body. In front of the temple is a very Targe building capable of seat-* 
ing two hundred people, in which- and on the pavement around the temple many 
bramhuns daily sit reading the Chundee, a work on the wars of Kalee ; on some days 
as many as a thousand bramhuns may be seen thus employed^ Beyond this build- 
ing, in front of the image, the animals for sacrifice are slain. Not fewer than four 
thousand persons assemble on particular occasions at this temple, especially at the 
Sbyamaand Doorga festivals; and, twice a week, on the Ch^tula* market days, two^ 
thousand people or more visit this place, multitades of whom (my informer says, not 
less tban a thousand) present offerings. At the^e times it is common for a Hindoo 
logo up to the temple, and presenting himself at thedoor with joined hands, to^ad« 
dress himself thus io the idol : < Oh ! mother ! I am going to the market for such and 
^iuch a purpose. If thou grant me success, I will on the next market-day present 

^offerings to thee to the amount of ; — .* Or he says to another person standing 

near — ^^See, Brother, I.have promised to mother so and so^ if she will accomplish my 
^ wiabes in the market .^t 

About nine o'clock each day, the bramhiin who in turn performs the duties at the 
temple, and who receives the offerings of the day,, after cleaning and bathing the 
nnage, puts on it the garlands of flowers and other ornaments, sweeps the temple, and 

* An ■djoining ▼illigv. 

t U it'Sftid tlMt formerlj, cspt ciallj in tixiict of tcucitjr* iMmber*^of men were loldiit ibii laatLet 

lU HISTORY, LITERATURE, ano RELIGION, [Paetui. Chap.](. 

then throws open the doors, calling out ^ Victory to the Great Kalee ! Yictorjr to the 
Great Kalee */ These complioients on. different morniogs he changes at pleasure. 

After this^ persons going to bathe, or coming from bathing, approach the door of the 
temple, and bow to the goddess ; and now the daily worship is performed, which oc- 
cupies about an hour, after which men and women are seen bringing their offerings to 
the idol, and these continue to be presented daring the greater part of the day : some 
merely present them, without asking for anj blessing: those persons take away a few 
flowers, or any other trifle of what they have offered, as something that willsecuic the 
good of the family ; and friends on a visit at the house of such a person beg any thing 
of this kind, and eat it, or wear it in their hair. Oilier visitors to the temple leave part 
of the offerings there, and take away the other part to present to their friends. Others 
make a vow while the offering is presented to the image, in some such words as these : 

< Oh! goddess ! mother Kalee ! If thou wilt deliver me out of such or such a trouble, 

< or ^ilt bestow such or such a blessing, I will present to thee [here the petitioner re- 
^peats the names of all the offerings or bloody sacrifiees]«* Disputes arise almost 
daily in the temple •betwixt the worshippers and the priests respecting the offerings, 
and not unfrequently a violent scramble takes place for the meat-offerings in the pre* 
sence of the goddess herself; the ofliciating brambun says, ^Who is to have these of« 
* ierings ?' to which the worshipper repilies, 'Oh ! Sir I our family priest always re- 
' ceivos these things. I must carry them home for him." Or a man bringing offerings 
procures a bramhfin to go and tell a lie in the presence of the goddess, saying to 
him, < Sir, the bramhuns at the temple of Kalee aresuch notorious cheats^ that of all 
I give to the goddess, she will probably get nothing but a few flowers ; and they are so 
rapacious that I shall never get these^fferings out of their hands i^ on which this bram- 
hfin carries the offerings to thetemple, and declares, that they belong to the bramhiins 
of such a temple, and must be returned to them. By these contrivances the offerer 
obtains what he has given to the goddess ; and, giving part to the bramhun who has 
extricated him from the rapacious hands of the proprietors of the temple, he takes 
the remainder home. About three o*€lock in the afternoon, food is placed before the 
goddess, consisting of rice, greens, roots, fruits, milk, curds, ckrified butter, flesh, 
spirituous liqours,* (in a concealed form) sweetmeats, &c. &c. Generally about 850 

* It 18 affimed that the greater namber of grown up peraon«in this viiltge drink •piritt. Brtmhftos mij be seen 
in front of the temple, drinking spirits at noon day, and religions mendicants wdkiog-sfbont* naked, wiihont the 
least sense of shame. 

Ofths aoDDBSs£S.~J!:a2^r.] OP TffB HINDOOS. 137 

poands of rice are cooked dailj, bat at particular times twice or thrice as much. 
After reaerying as much as is necessary for his own family, the officiating bramhnn 
sells the rest of the offerings to derout visitors or neighbours, and gives away what 
lie cannot setU When a bloody sacrifice is offered, the offerer either pajw the pf iest 
for his trouble, or gives up the slaughtered animal. The slayer also receives a fee. 
Of this flesh the officiating bramkun keeps what be pleases,, and sells the rest to brarn*^ 
hunsy shoodrus, Portuguese, and persons from all parts of the neighbourhood.^ 

Thcdatly offerings tothts goddess are astonishingly numerous : On days when the 
weather is very unfavourable, not less than three hundred and twenty pounds ofrice> 
tweuty-four of sugar, forty of sweetmeats, twelve of clarified butter, ten of flour, ten 
quarts of milk, a peck of pease *; eight hundred plantains^ and other things, the price of 
which may amount to about fiye shillings, are offered, and eight or ten goats sacri- 
ficed*. Oh commondays, of alFthese things, three times tire quantity ; and at great 
ftstivals, or wh'en*a rich man comes to worship, ten, twenty or forty times this 
quantity, and'as many as forty^or fifty bufialos, and a thousand goats, are slain* 

Raja Nuvii-KrisKnti, of Calcutta, about fifty years ago, when on a visit to KaleB* 
ghatu, expended, it is said^ not less than 100,000 roopees on the worship of this god- 
d68s. Amongst the offerings was a gold necklace valued at 10,000 roopees^ and, be* 
side other ornaments, a rich bed, silver plates, dishes, and basons ; sweetmeats, and 
other f6od sufficient for the entertainment of a thousand ^persons, and trifling* pre* 
sents of money to near two thousand of the poor^ 

About twenty years ago Jnyn-Narayunu-Ghoshalu, ofKiddurpooru,near Calcutta^ 
expended SS^OO&roopees at this place ; whien be sacrificed twenty-five buffalos, one 
hundi'ed )and eight goats, and five sheep ; and presented 'to the goddess four silfer 
tms^ two gold eyes, and many gold and silver ornaments^ 

About ten years ago, a.merohant from, the east of Bengal Expended 5000 roopees 

^TRe woman bdnngingto the lenple hsYd bewme jochgood cooks»ah«t it is not unctnmon for persons \% 
pay f©r« dinner from their hands, prefcrriog it to anj thing thej could get eljewhcFe, 


on the iroi'ftbip of tliU goddess^ betide the price of a thousand goati nhich iverenlauglu 

Jn the year 1810, a bramhun frem the east of Bengal expended on this idol abaot 
four thousand roopees, with pari of which he bought a golden necklacei the beadi 
.of which were iu the shape of giants' skulls. 

4n the year 1811, Gop^-mohunu, a bramhun of Calcutta, expended 10,000 roo- 
{>ees in the worship of this goddess, but, being a voishnuvu^ be did not offer any 
bloody sacrifices* 

The Hindoos, it seems^ are not the only persons who worship this black stone: 
I have received accounts several times of Europeans, or their native mistresses, go- 
ing to this temple, and expending thousands of roopees in offerings. Thebramhiia 
with whom I wrote this account declares, that when he was a student at Vurisba, 
near Kalee*ghatn, he several times saw the wives of Europeans come in palangneens 
with offerings ; though I suppose, these ladies were born in India. But the pro- 
prietors of the temple positively assured this bramhun (as he says) that ^ery fre- 
quently European men presented offerings, soliciting some favour at the hands* of the 
goddess, and that very lately a gentleman in the Hon. Company's service, who had 
gained a cause at law, presented thank*offerings to Kalee which cost two or three 
thousand roopees.f I confess that I very reluctantly insert these accounts^ because I 
should hope they mostly originate in wilful misrepresentation on the part of the 
bramhiins of the temple, or in mistake. I suppose spme Portuguese (who also go 
by the name Sah6b) may present offerings, and pray to this goddess — hence one 
source of misinformation : the mistresses of Europeans are supplied with money 
by their retainers, and hence the worship not unfrequently passes off, with many 

* Silver handt and gold ton^is and eytt are among the presents made bjr rich men to thia goddess. Sach is the 
stapidicjT of idolaters. 

t It is probable, thai the real worshipper in this instance was a head-servant of thii gentleman's; thoogb thU 
•xpeuce might te defrayed by the master. Withont thinking of the gailt of such condnct, I have known fieqvent 
uMances of Eiropeani making presents to their servants for the arowed purpose of idol worship. 

Of Till «ODDS35B9.— JD»K'5.] OF THE HINDOOS, i^y 

«. triampli over degraded Chrislianity, as the worship of such a European ; and 
«ianj Europeans who go for curiosity to see the temple and (he image, inconside* 
lately or wantonly giTe piesents to the clamorons and greedy bramhuns, who pro« 
claioi it ai an offering io their goddess. Actions the most innocent, (eyen going to 
^iew the image,} ate construed by these ignorant idolaters into an approval or ido- 
latry. A European who was lately there^ says my informant, to make a drawing 
of die image, when he departed gave the officiating bramhiin a goldmcihur| and this 
present was probably enrolled amon^ the gtfls to the teraple«. 

It is further affirmed, that many Musulmans Xfonr or fiveliundred) present oflci^ 
ings to KalS monthly, — so strangely has the veneration for this image seized the 
minds of the natives* — and it is added tiiat an equal number of prostitutes from aR 
parts of Bengal pay their devotions at this temple-; some pray for (helieaini of their 
paramours, and others that great numbers -may visit theirbouses of ill fame, it is not 
tittcommon for a loose female to say to herparamonr, after bis recovery from sickness, 
^I made vows to Kalee^ that if she would restore you to liealth, I would present 
*her with such and such offerings : you are recovered; and I must now go and per- 
^ form my vows7 Such a female sometimes thus prays for her paramour — ^O Mo- 

* ther KalS ! I pray for . If thou wilt increase bis wealth [or remove 

' sickness from him — or make him successful in sm^i a concern — >or increase his at- 
-* tachment to me, that he may always follow my advice], I will present to thee all 

* these offerings, ^here she repeats the names of what she intends io give)."* When 
«he returns home she takes off all her oruaments, laying thein aside till her vow be 
cither fulfilled or abandoned. 

Merchants* and Tradesmen present tifferings to Kalee, once, twice, t)rt1] rice n 
year, to obtain success in their concerns; — many rich men (thirty or forty) place 
bramhiins at this; temple to worship the goddess, to walk round the temple, and read 
the Chundee, daily in their names ;— others place bramhiins here for these purposes. 

* Hindoo ncrebtiitf engaged in foreign commerce, nfitx the raccessfal TojAge of a sblp in which tbcjr ^ad 
propert/, frequently preieat lb«Ak-«feringt to thii goddess. 

in HiSXailY, L$.T£JlAIUilE,^VD RELI GlOHj [P^iiv m. CmA9.u 

for.twaor three months in the year ; — ^sepoys from all parts of Hindoost'hanu retort t^ 
thU^ temple as often as they canobtahi l«ave of absence ;^moihei6 pseseat offeringSy 
praying for the recovery of their children, and promi3ing to bring the restored child 
in tlielr arms.when they come to fal£l their vows ;* or, that it shalllie inyested.with 
the poitayt or pass thronghjiome. other ceremony, .at the temple ; — senrants in search 
of employment make vows to. the goddess to. present' her with amonth'd wages if she 
will raise themio such a situation ; — ^in a word, the occasions of drawing people to thii 
famous temple are as endlesaas the suSHerstitioos hop^s and fears^ the crimes, and the 
wants of the worshippers. 

Goats are devoted to Kalee, and kept, fn some cases^ for a long* time, till the^ owner 
be able to meet the other expences attending the offerings and worship. These anik> 
mals are. called the g.oats of Kalee« 

The village of KaleS-ghuttii (or Kalee-ghatn)^ owes the greater partof its present 
|K)p,ulation to this tempjie; from which near two hundred* persons derive their sub* 
sistance, exclusive „of the proprietors, .who amount to about thirty families^. Some 
j^roprietors have a turn, others half a day, and others two or three hours ; to 
whom all the offerings presented in thepoKtion of time thus apportioned heloogv AU 
these families Jiave become riclu 

Inihe month HiEighu a festival is held in vaHons places of Bengal in honour of 
Ghatoo,,the god who presides over blotches on the skin ; but the assembly at KalS- 
ghatu is YCfy greal. . At the time of swinging in Choitru also, the coucourse o£ people 
at this place is also very large. . See the account of Shivii. 

*'The haimf Mme cbiklrvo it not cot at all (ill the tow be fulfilled ; otheri ^nlj.separate ^ loci oUht clulcUf 
hair tjing it up ia a bauch. A large hillock «»rhaoMD hair, collected at the timctof thafins when towi ha?« been 
falfiUed i» formed vcar the ttaiple. 

t A bramhSnonceat»Dred me that he had seen not lets than three hundred bojtinTCtttd with the poita i» 
one dajr at this place -, on which occaiioa manx bioodj sacrifices were offered. The ««ncoiirie of petpte wm 


Ofn««OMBitu.~Juieif.] OF THE HINDOOS* ill 

1 here add a rough account of what is expended on this idolmontbl j : 

Buffales slain, (5) « ^ ^ .^ » 

Goats ditto, (1000) - . . 

Sheep, ditto, (30) . ^ . . ^ 

Kice, (SOO cwt.) 

Salt, Spices, Pease, Fish, &c. - « « 
Clarified Butter, - « . . ^ « 
MiHc and Ourds, « « ^ ^ _ 

Sugar, (11 cwt.) . ^ . • . 

Sweetmeats, (8S cwt.) .^ • * - 

Plantains, (S5,000) 

Evening ofierings, ^ - . 

Meat offerings, ^ . * • * . 

Dressed food, 

Fees, ^ ^ - . - . ^ 

TraTeHing Expences, " - - - - -• 

Alms given tb the poor by visitors, ' - 

Sxtraordinaries from rich men, and at festivals^ 




, p, 






















Seventy-Two Thousand Roopees annually^ or Nine Tboaiand PouadxiterUaf. 




Other forms of Kail e^ 8f€. 

Cham&nda.^ — This iomge^ wUch is similar tothat of Kalee^ except (hat Chamanda 
is represented with two giaots' beads- in her hand^^ and as sitting on a dead bod/^is 
seldom or never- made. The goddess is worshipped at the festival of Doorga, oa 
three different daj/;s« 

^mushanu'Kalcl.^ — When this image is made, other figures are introduced^ 
lu» those* of the giants Shoombhu, and Nishoombhu, of jackals, dead bodies, &c^ 
These giants are represented as sitting on ^elephants, throwing arrows at the goddess,, 
while the latter is standing on her husband, and aiming blows at them with, a sword. 
The ceremdnies of worship are like those performed in honour of KaleE r the wor*- 
ship b^ins at the total Mrane^f the moon in Maghu, and continues for three nfgh<s. 
Revelling is carried to the greatest |)itch t some of the worshippers, and not unfre*^ 
quentlj the sons of rich men, dance before the image naked,. < glorying, in tbeit 
ihame.^ A few Hindoos adopt this goddess as their guardian deity. 

Manu'o&^Katee.% — ^Another form of Kalee^ whose image it lesembles except in the 
colour, which is blue. The worship is celebrated on.the fifteenth night of the decrease 
of the moon in Maghii,— -the present fruif, diversion,— and hereafter, heaven. Such 
are the ideas of the poor, deluded Hindoos. A wbole village sometimes joins io de- 
fray the expence ; at other times a rich man bears it abne. Many l^loody sacrifices 
are offered, and a great shew made, especially with illuminations, to which ape 
added dancing,.singing^. music, &c. 

* SLe who seized ChOnda and Mftndfi, two gUnts. 


t This name denotet, thai Kale« dwelU in the plicc of borning the dead, and presides otcr ceacteiles. SLmft- 
%iianft means a cemeteiy. 

X Via. in the form of mnm 

Ot tat GOMissts.^Kaled.] OF THE HINDOOS. 133 

Pkiilu'Mree.^^^Thh form of KaleS is that of a black female, ivith four aims^ 
standing on the breast of Sbivii. She is worshipped at the tolal wane of the moon 
in the inonth Jyoisht^u, or in any other month, at the pleasure of the worshipper. 
The offerings are namerous, especially of fruits : boffalop, goats, and sheep, are sa« 
cfificed ; and the day after the worship, the image is thrown into the lirer. 

Bhtidrii'Kcttee. f^^ An image similar to that of Kalee ; the worship also resembles 
that which is paid to that goddess. Tiie image is ia some places preserved,, and wor*- 
aiiipped daily. 

Oogfii'ChindaX is worshipped at the total wane of the moo» in the month Kartiku: 
in some places temples made of clay are erected in honour of this goddess, in which 
she is worshipped either daily or monthly. 

AniiniSi'm&f/ed.\ — ^A black female, with four arms,, sitting on a^ throne ; to whom a 
Bomber of temples are dedicated, containing stone or clay images of the goddess. She 
is worshipped daily ; also on fortunate days, at the pleasure of her numerous disciples, 
as well as at the gjreat festivals of Doorga, Kalee, &c. when bloody sacrifices are of* 
fered ^o hec 

jyuiiS-pd/rJA:a.||^^These nine goddesses are worshipped at the^great festivals,^ but- 
with the greatest shew at that of Doorga : when these assistants of Doorga in her wars 
are-represented by nine branches of different trees :: Kumbha by a plaintain ;^ Kuch« 
wee-roopa, by a kiichwee ;^ Horidra^ by a biiridra ;^ Juyuntee, by a Juyiintee ;* Vilwa- 
Toopa, by a vilwfi ;^ Darimee, by a darimii ;6 Ushoka, by an ushoku / Manuka,, by a 
manii v^ and Dhanyu-rSopa, by a dhanyo*? 

Bheemi-chundte. '^'^This image is made and worshTj)ped at Benares : in Bengal 

^ She who receives much frak. t the BeneficenK t ^^e foHous. j The Jojr fut. 

I Tlie niae goddeisiSj 

1 Masa paradlsaica. f. Arum esculeotun. 3 Carcumt longa. 4 .^chynomeoe seihan. 

5 .£<le raar'Qelos, 6 Panica granatum* 7 JoQCsia asoea. 8 Aram macrorbjzoo. 9 Go- 

riandrani latifam. * The tenific. 

in HISTORY, LlTEllATURE, awd RElilGIOK, [Pa" m. Cukr.^: 

I _ 

also the goddess is. worshipped, especially on a Tuesday, before anotlier image^ or a 
pan of water, or some appointed representative of an idol. 

4Vfura-jiia.* — There is no poblic festival in honour of (his goddess ; nor is her image 
set up for .worship ; but in times of siokness she is worshipped before the shalgramii, 
when forms of praise from the Tuntrus are addressed to her. 

VimidaA — A stone image of this idol is worshipped in one of Che temples erected 
in Orissa, near (he famous temple of Jugiinnat'hu. Bloody sacrifices are offered to 
this goddess; but as this place is.sacred to Yishnoo, these offerings are made in se« 
cret. Yimula is also worshipped in Bengal at the festivals of*Doorga and £a]£e, 

Siddheshwurec.\ — In many villages in Bengal one, and in some large villages seve* 
ral of these images are setup. They are in general made of clay ; but some are of 
stone. The image is commonly (he property of one family^ who -worship her every 
day ; others in tiie village worship her when they choose ; but all the gifts and offer* 
ings come to the person who owns (he image. 'If a child hare a fever, the parents 
worship the goddess that it may recover, and promise to present various offerings to 
her if she be propitious. If a woman wan( a son, she procures a bramhun to wor« 
ship the goddess in her name; — if another person be seeking employment, he prays 
the goddess to favour him ;— rif a koolinu bramhiin wish his daughter to be married, 
he intercedes with (he goddess, and prpmises to«ceiebrate'her worship if^he be fa« 
Tourable/ On all occasions of particular distress, or want, the people resort io 
these images with their presents and vows. Thieves also worship Siddh^hwuree> 
that tboy ipfty be favoured )yith her smiles and be protected in thieving.^ Honest 
and poor people also worship this image -to obtain protection, from thieves* An 
annual festival is held in honour of Siddl^&hwiiree on the same day as the Shyama 

* The uMonqaerable. tShe who piiij£«fl. -| She who (■]£]• the wishes of her worshippers. 

S The goddess LarernH, It Is well known, was the protectress of thieves, who, from her, were named LaTerni* 
oueifimd who worshijtped her, that their designs aid intrigues ought ho saccessful : her linage was ahead wiihoot 

a bwd/. 





IS called' the goddess of prosperity : sHe is painted yellow, and sits on the wffter* 
lity ^ holding in- her right hand the pashu, (a rope) and in the left a necklace. 

Tishnoo is said'tohayeoKained'this^goddess at tliis churmng of the sea,*" at which 
tune all the gods were so charmed with her beauty that they desired to possess her, 
and Shiyii was entirely overcome by bis passion. The reader will remember sometlTmg 
similar to this in the account of Venus, who is also said to have sprang from th6 froth 
•f the sea, and whom, on being presented to the gods, they all desired to marry. 


The worship ofLukshmeSis celebrated in five different months, viz. in BhadrS, 
•n the first Thursday of the increase of the moon, in the morning; in AsEwinu, at 
thefull moon,, in the evening ; in Kartiku, on the last day of the decrease of the moon^ 
in the ntght ;^oiitbe last day in Poasho, iath€ morning ; and in Choitru,-on the first 
Thursd&y of the increase ofHhe moon ; either in the day or night. The ceremonies 
are performed before a basket used 4i&a corn measure9{)ainted red : the worshippers fill 
this measure with rice in the husk ; and put round it a garland of flowers ; then coyer 
it with^a white cloth*; and, .encircling it with a number (rf'.small shells, place before 
it a box containing red paint,. a coml>, &c. The ofEciating bramhun performs 

the wual ceremonies, yarying but little fromihose at the worship of Vishnoos in the 
name of the master or mistress of the house. No bloody sacrifices are offered. 

Bramhuns are entertained r^thfir liberally^at this fes4;iyal ; bvA on the day. of worship 
no alms must be given to the poor, except cooked food, nor any money k>st, lest this 
goddess, who ii supposed to preside over wealth, and to have taken up her abode at 
tfce worshipper's house^ should' be angry at her riches being wasted. 

f Sbf it also ctlltd the davghter 0f Bbri£«t# 


This worship is celebrated in almost every Hindoo family five tinies a year, the fre«. 

-quency of which is not to be wondered at, when it is considered that Liikslimee isihe 
goddess of prosperity. If a man be growing rich^ the Hindoos say JDukshmee is gone 
to abide at his house; if he be sinking into poverty, they say Lukshmee has forsake^ 

-^im. If they wish to abuse another^ they call him IiUksfamS5«chara.* 

The morning after the festival, the women take up the corn measure, and preserve 
it for some future time of worship : the rice is used in worship daring the whole year. 
At the close of the festival, if a female of the family remember any stories respecting 
liUkshmee, she relates (hem^ and the rest of the family, joined by two or three neigh« 
bearing females^ sit around and hear. In some places a number of persans subscribe 
towards the expence of makiDg aa image of Lukshmgi, and worship it on any of ttve 
days before-mentioned* 

Names. Lukshmee, or, the goddess of fortunate signs ;— PMmatuya, she who 
dwells on the water-lily ; — Pudma, she who holds in her hand the water-lily ; — Shree^ 
she in whom all take refuge^— Huree-priya, the wife of Huree* 



THIS form of Liikshmei is worshipped at the full moon in Asfawiml, in the even* 
ing, before acorn-measure, surrounded by four plantain trees ; though some persons 
worship this goddess before an image of Lukshmee. Bloody sacrifices are offered. 
The worshippers invariably drink the water of the cocoa-nut at this festival, and 
nnmbers keep awake the whole night ; listening to the filthy songs, and the horrid din 
<^f Hindoo music 

* Id the provincial dialect, it is L&khte-chBra, that if, Hickless; thus forming an eztraordiDarj coincidence of 
•ound and meaning ih langnagei lo extremely different. 

t The shastrttihAve commanded that each Hindoo shall remain awake during the night of the full moon in 
AahwiniS, when a featWal in Mi ia hoaouof ihii goddets, and from this circumstance this name is derived. 

Of thz GODDCSiTS .^Si^rStoS/S^.] OF THE HINDOOS. 1|7 


THIS is the goddess of learning, the daughter ef Brumha, and tlie wife of Vislr* 
BOO. She is represented as a white woman, standing on th« water-liljr^ and playing 
-on a lute. 

On the 5th day of the increase of ihe moon, in Magho, the worship of this god* 
dess is performed before her image, or a pen, inkstand^ and book ; the latter articles 
are supposed to form a proper substitute for the goddess, who is caHed Vagyadinee, 
the eloquent. The image is placed en a table, either at the west or south side of the 
house. After the officiating bramhim has read the formulas and presented the oifer^ 
ings, each worshipper whose name has been read in the service takes fiower^ in his 
hands, and, repeating a prayer, presents them to the goddess^ after which follow 
gifts to the bramhuns, and a feast. 

Every Hindoo who is able to read and write endeavt>urs to celebrate the worship 
of this goddess t the raja of Biirdwan is said to expend 15,000 roopees annually at 
this festival. In eyery Hindoo college, the students keep the festival with great joy ": 
many of them dance naked, and are guilty of every indecency. 

The day after the festiyal, the image is carried in procession through the town^' 
and then thrown into the river. In passing through the streets of Scrampore, at the 
time of this festival in the year 1S66, 1 was exceedingly shocked at observing among 
the crowd, who were dancing, playing on music, bearing flags, &c. two or three 
young men quite naked, the mob triumphing in this shocking insult on public de« 
cency. To induce young men to resort to their houses, many prostitutes keep 


Its HISTORY, LITERATURE, akd RELIGION, [Paetiii. Chaf.i. 

this feast^ and connect with it all that low merriment which corrupts the mind and 
draws the attention of the crowd.* 

On this day the Hindoos neither read nor write;f though thej will do anj other 
secular business. They eat only once during the day, and those who are accustom* 
ed to eat fish abstain from it on this day. 

The Hindoos believe, that from this goddess they derive their learning and pow* 
ers of eloquence,:^ as well as their ability to read and write. Some of those who can 
neither read nor write, insist upon it,4hat they oUght to worship her, as they derive 
their powers of speech from her.§ Others however complain, < Suruswutee has be- 
stowed nothing on us, why should we perform her worship/ 

The image of Suruswutee is sometimes painted blue, and placed in temples, when 
she is called Neelu-Suroswutee. ^ 

Names. Bramhee, or, the daughter of Brumha ;— Bharutee, she who presides over 
words ; — Bhasha, she who bestows the power of speech ; — ^Surus wutee^ she who through 
the curse of a bramhiin was turned into a river. 

* In tbe jear 1808,1 mw a group of performers reciting tbeKamajftuAio the street; and oaenqviij I foisd 
it was before the door of some prostitutes, who had aobscribed to bear the expence. The reason assigDe<^ was, that 
it would be an act of merit, helping them in another world, and would aJso draw men into whoiedom. Offerings arc 
sometimes brought home, and shared by a prostitute with her paramour, like the harlot, in tbe book ot Pro?erbe, wha 
b Kpreseoted as saj^ing to the young oua she met in tbe street> «' I have peaceM)fferings with me j this day have I 
payed my vows." Pr9o» vii. 14* 

t The only reason I can find for this is, it is the command of the shastrB. 

i Of an eloquent man. the Hindoos say S&r6sw&tee sits on bis tongue^ 

$ Of this fact, they give the exaaiple of RavftniS, who, when Raro& was about to kill biro, procured a reprieve 
by flattering his adversary ; but the gods, afraid lest Ravi^B& should be spared* sent Slrttswtttee iuto his tbroal» and 
aaased him to say provoking things to Ram Ik. 

Or TMM QQPt>MMm.-^Shedtila.^ OF THE HINDOOS. ^ in 



IS painted as a yellow woman sittiog on the water-lily, dressed in red^ and gUing 
snck to an infant. Before this image^ or a pan of water, the worship of this goddess is 
performed, in any part of the year; but in general on the Tth, 8th, and 9th of the 
increase of the moon, in the day time. Bloody sacrifices are not offered. On the 
10th the image is thrown into the water. 

This goddess is also worshipped to obtain preservation from the eyil effects of the 
small-pox. In the months Cboitro and Voishakhii the Hindoos inoculate those of 
their children who are two years old, on which occasion the inoculating bramhunf 
presents offerings and prayers to this goddess in the name of the child, promising for the 
parents, that if she be kiiid to the child, they will present to her certain offerings, &c. 
as. soon as it is recovered. At the close of the ceremony, the bramhim places the flow- 
ers which have* been offered in the hair of the child, telling the parents that the god- 
dess will be favourable, and then performs the operation. When the child becomes 
affected with the disease, the family priest (if the parents be rich enough to pay for 
it) comes to the house every day, and repeats certain forms of prayer and praise to 
Sheetula ; after recovery she is again worshipped. If the child become danger- 
oasly ill, it is carried to an image of Sheetiila, and bathed in the water which has been 
offered to this goddess, some of which is given it to drink. 

Beggars of different descriptions procure a stone, gild a small part of it^ and carry 
it from place to place, singing the praises of Sheetula. These mendicants sometimes 
proclaim in a village, that Sheetola has appeared to one of them in a dream, and or- 

* Or, the who cooU the bodj mt the time of the finall poi. 

. t The regolw Hiadoo doctors (Tcidjfi) do notiaociUate, b«t  lovci order of biamhttni oOlcd doivSgnftv* w 

R 2 

140 HISTORY, LITERATUikE, kxn RELIGIOrf, [PiBttii* Cukw.u. 

dered, that in this village the mistress of each house shall beg at three, foar^.or more- 
doors, and take whatever is givea her, and eat it in some neighbouring garden or fo* 
rest.* The most dreadful misfortunes being threatened in case of disobedience, the 
affrighted women beg from door todoori and fulfil the supposed commands of the 


TItIS goddess, the sister of Fasookee,^' aq<1 the'wife of JTirutkarrva sage, is callect^ 
the queeaofthe snakes,, and is worshipped to obtain preservation from their bite. She 
is represented'as sitting on the water-lil7,xlothed with^nakes*. 

Ift the month Jyoishi^u, on the lOth of Ibe increare of the moon ;~aIso on the 5th 
of the moon's increase and decrease in Ashwinii and Shravunu^ as well as on the laL^t 
d^y of Shravunn, this goddess is worshipped. Oh the three last occasions, the wor- 
shippers plant branches of the Euphorbia before the house, and worship them. In 
Shravunu the worship is celebrated with the greatest shew ; on which occasion an 
image, or some branches of the sametree^. or a pan of water surrounded with snakes- 
made of clay,, is placed as the object of worship tr in some places, twenty or thirty 
thousand people assemble ; and amidst singing,.dancing, music, &c. some persons 
play with snakes of different kinds, particulariy the cobra capello, suffering them to 
bite them. Tliis play, however, ends fatally when the venomous fangs have not 
been carefully extracted. The cast called Mal^ who play with snakes for a live* 
lihood,. profess great regard for Mjuusa. On the diys of the festival, the Hindoos 
do not kindle a fire, alleging that one of the names of fifunusa is UruncUiiina, she 

* This is » trick to extoM some part of the aIou from th€le deluded womesk 
t Or, MUlnfisa-d^Tle j the gOildcH who possetffes pleasure in bertel£ 
I The king of the lerpcnti. 

Ol^ntamnssts.—MSnSio.^ OF THE HINDOOS. 141 

does not cook. A day or two before the festival, in 8ome places, 4he women of 
the village (pel haps fifty or a hundred,- or even two hundred)^ beg rice, either in- 
their own or an adjoining village, which they oflFer, in a field in the neighbourhood, 
in the name of Mfinusa, but without an image. After thus offering rice, milk, curds,- 
sugar, See. to the goddess, they eat them on the spot ; and this act of holiness, they 
say, preserves their children fron> the bite of snakeit, as well as assists the parents 
themselves on their way to heaven. A song founded upon the following story con« 
eludes the whole r Chandu, a merchant, not only refused to worship the goddess, 
%ut professed the utmost contempt for hen In process of time, however, she caused 
bis six youngest sons to be killed by the bite of snakes ; to avoid the fate of whom^ the* 
eldest son Lukindnrii made an iron house, and retired to it ; yet Muofisa caused the ^ 
snake Tukshukii to enter by a crevice, which destroyed Lukindtiru on his wedding*.- 
day :- his widow escaped, and went weeping into the presence of her mother-in-law. 
The neighbours again attempted to reason with Chandu, but he continued obstinate, 
declaring that Munusa was no^goddess.- She appeared to people in dreams, and 
eommanded them to persuade him tocelebrate her worship : and, after-much entreaty^ • 
to pacify the goddess, he was induced to comply, but declared he would present the 
offerings only with the left hand ;*'and, turning back his head,. he threw a flower at 
her image witb-the left hand. Muoiisa, however, was so pleased, that she restored * 
his seven sons ; and from this ciroumstaiice^: the- worship of this goddess has since * 
been very much<;elebrated..- 

When the worship- is performed 'before an image,^heep, goats andl>uflfalbs are' 
Afered to Munusa^ .and even swine.-h 

When a Hindoo has been bitten by a snake; the persons who pretend to cure him- 
leaddifierent incantations containing the names of Munusa. If one or two persons in 
a village have died by the bite of snakes, all the inhabitants become alarmed, and ce- 
lebrate the worship of Munusa*^ 

* Tbe hand ated in wwhing aft^r stoolt. 

t Among tbe £gTpli«Dstw»ne, il is well kRown, were offered t6 Bscchof? 

1« HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, L^art in. Chip, t 



IS a jellow i¥oman, sitting on a cat, nursing a child. The Hindoos regard her a» 
the protectress of their children. 

Six annual festivals are held in honour of this goddess, viz. in Jjoisht'hu, Bhadru^ 
Ashwinu, Maghujand twoinChoitru^ on the 6th of the increase of the moon, before ten 
o^cIock in the forenoon. 

The worship celebrated inJyoisht^hu is performed by a bramhnnee or an officiating 
bramhun, under the vntu tree,f or under a branch of this tree planted in the house. At 
the time of this worship every woman of the village, dressed in her best clothes, with 
her face painted, her ornaments on, and her body anointed with oil, goes to the place 
of worship under the tree, taking in her hand an offering ; over each of which the offi- 
ciating br.amhuh performs the usual ceremonies. The offerings are sent to the bouse 
of the officiating bramhun, or distributed amongst the eager by-standers. Among 
others who are eager to obtain some of these offerings, are women who have not been 
blessed with children ; each of whom sits down pensively among the crowd, and 
opens the end of her garment to receive what the assembled mothers are eager 
enough to bestow ; when the giver says, <^ May the blessing of Shush tee be upon yon, 
and, next year may you bring offerings — witha child in your arms.*' The receiver 
adds with eagerness, << Ah ! if she bestow this blessing, I will celebrate her worship ; 
I will keep my vows, and bring offerings every year.'* This festival is called Arunyu- 
shusfatoe, because the worshippers are directed to walk in some forest on ^bis day, with 
fans in their hands. 

• She is who ii worshipped on Uie nith lunar day. 

f Ficot Indica. 

Of THS aODOBSass.— f^Jb/e?.] OF THE HINDOOS^ 143 

Iq those houses where the daughter is married, but has not left her parents, they 
send for the son-hi-law, and at the close of the worship the girl's father sends to hiro, 
on a metal plate, a flower^ some unhusked rice, a piece of string consecrated, to the 
goddess, fire or six blades of doorva grass, a garment, &c«. The son-in-law, if a 
person of respectability, contents himself with sticking the flower in his hair. If a 
poor man, he puts on the garment, and raises all the other presents to his head. If 
the son-in-law neglect to stick (he flower in his hair, the girFs father becomes rtry 
sorrowful, and all the* spectators pronounce the former a dead man^for throwing 


away a flower which has been offered to Shiishtee* 

The worship in the month Bhadru does not differ from the pi:eceding, except ill 
its being performed by the river side, or at a pool of water, before the stick which is 
whirled round in churning butter, upon which a fan is placed. In the midst of the 
worship the women make little paste images of children, and, placing them on leaves 
of the kuntukee tree,* present them to the goddess, and afterwards throw them into 
the river. This festival is called Cbapura-shushtee.t 

The Ashwinu festival, distingnished by the name Doorga-shushtee is in almost every . 
particular the same as the preceding. 

At the Magha festival, called Sheetula-shusbtee, the women, on the night preceding, 
boil a large quantity of rice and pulse for offerings, mixing with the latter, in- boil- 
ing, a kind of kidney beans and varttakoos.j: The next morning they bathe very 
early, and on their return go through the ceremonies of worship, in the house, be- 
fore the two stones with which they grind their spices ; and upon which they throw 
a yellow cloth, smeared with red lead. The worship is finished before ten o'clock^ 
and at noon they eat what the goddess has left;^ i.e. every thing they gave her^ 

The two festivals in Choitrn are held on the 6th, and on the last day bat one, of the 
month ; on the 6lh, in the morning, either befpre a branch of the vuta, the shalgramu, 

• Artectrpii« Hitegrifolio» t la slIasioD to the mMng of these imagetw i The frait •!' 

SaJanom melongeiu. 

an HISTOUY, LITERATURE, amb RELIGION, LPAaiiii. Cxix^. i. 

or some proper representiitiye of an image; and at the close of the month, in the 
..evening, before an image of Shivu. On the 6lh the worshippers eat the bud of the 
.Euphorbia inclosed in a plantain, and at the- latter festival thejr fast during the dajr, 

and after some fruit, and some barley flour mixed with curds or water. 

liicb persons eat sweetmeats. Tbese.fe&tivals arc called XJshoku-shushtee and NSelu- 

Another festival is held in honour of this goddess in some parts of Bengal in tlic 
.month Ugruhay uiiu, called Hiiree-Shushtee. The worship is celebrated;beibre a-day 
pot filled with^waterJiaving six spouts. 

In addition to all these times 0f worship^ females:who have lost all tbeir^hildrea 
ihy death, worship this goddess every month ; beside which, after a child .is six daya 
old, every father^ to preserve the child, perfoms the worship of the goddess, while 
the officiating bramhun reads the incantations; and on the Slst day of the child's age, 
the mother presents offerings to the goddess with her own bands, while theofliciat« 
ing bramhun read« the prayers*- The first of these ceremonies tales place in the even- 
ing, before a branch of the vutu tree, fastened in the house floor; the two stones with 
which spices are ground being placed against the wall in the inside of the house, 
xovered with a piece of cloth. The husband, at the close, asks the blessing of the 
goddess on the child, promising to present to her a number of offerings when the 
child shall be twenty-one days old. Before the door place the skull of 
a cow, rubbing some red lead on its forehead ; and in J^ee lumps of cow-dung, put 
,en the forehead, they^tick three couries; upon which also they spread a yellow 
cloth. The head remains a mouth lit the door of the Jiouse^ as a kind of charm for 
.the go jd of the childreii. 

On the Slst day of the child's age, the mother invites ten or fifteen female neigh- 
bours, who, with the officiating bramhun, accompany her to a stone placed at the foot 
,of the vutu tree, which is supposed to be the representative of the goddess ; around 
w hich they put a large necklace or garland of flowers, and go through the ceremo- 
,nics of worship in the usual manner ; at the close the mother promises, on condition 
that the goddess bless her child, that she will worship her every year. 1'he mother difi- 

Of thb godmsses.— SAa^Afc?.] OF THE HINDOOS. US 

tributes the sweetmeats, &c. that have been' offered to the idol among the femalea 
present* This festival is called ^kooshija.* 

ShtLshtee has no temples in Bengal; her common representative, a rough stone, 
smeared with red paint, about as large as a man^s head, is commonly placed at the 
root of the sacred vutn, to which passengers, especially women, pay a degree of 
reverence. In fulfilling particular vows to Shushtee, some* worshippers surround 
the vutu tree with garlands of flowers, and great numbers of artificial lamps made of 
clay: others fulfil their vows by building an earthen or brick seat around one of 
these trees. A female of property, as a thank-offering after child-birth, presents by 
the hands of a bramhiin a child made of curds, which the bramhmi never &ils to de** 
vour. ^ 

Bloody sacrifices of tiullocks, goats, sheep, and sometimes of tame hogs, are o& 
fered to Shushtee. For receiving these latter offerings some persons call the god^ 
dess a cannibal. 

At the close of the different festivals held in honour of Shushtee, it is common foS 
women to entertain the company with marvellous stories relating to this goddess. The 
wives of some of the lower casts beg for a share of the offerings at the doors of the 


Shushtee rides on a cat : hence the Hindoos, especially mothers, avoid hurting thiflt 
animal, lest the goddess should revenge herself on their children* 

^ FVom tfLooshB) twraty-oii0« 


44ft HISTORY, LITE1UTUR&, am» IMSLICflON) [Pam m. Chap^u 


Inferior Celestial Beings, objech ofawsh^, 

THESE beings are either the enemies of the gods, as the usoorus and rakshusus^tir 
their companions ; or those who are employed as dancers, singers or musicians in the 
heavens of the godsi They are worshipped at tho great festivals; but have se 
separate images. 

The UsoorUsy or Giants. — These enemies of the gods are the oiispring of KfishySpff^ 
the progenitor of gods, giants, men, serpents and birds, by his different wives. Thej 
l^r a resemblance to the .tita is or giants of the Grecian Mythology, and stories of 
fti«ir wars with the gods (some of which willHbe found in this work) abound* in the 
fioorantis. Indrtk, Vishnoo, Kartikii, and Doorga, are distinguished among the Hin- 
doo deities for their conflicts with these beings.* KuigViilee, a giant, Js worshipped 

by the Hindoos on their birth-days, with the same forms as are used in the worship 
of the god^; 

Stdry tfthe churning of the sea hy the gods andOsoorus. The most raneorons hst>» 
tred has always existed betwixt the nsoorijs and the gods although half brotbers,-ihe 
former having been excluded by the gods from succeeding to the throne of heaven ; 
and dreadiul conflicts were carried on betwii:ft them with various-success^ till both 
parties sought to become immortal: the giants performed the most severe religioua 
austerities, addressing their prayers alternately to Vishnoo, Sbivii and Brnmha; 
but were always unsuccessful. The gods, however, at last obtained this blessing 
at the churning of the sea of milk; which story is related at length in the Miiha- 

bharota and other works: The gods first took mount Mundiira, placed it in. 

the sea, and wrapping round it the serpent Vasookec, began to whirl it round as 

• Jupiter was represented as lUmiD^ the thnnder in hb right hand agaimt a giant under his feet : Dooigft 
h aiming the spear in her right hand against an usooru under her feet 

Of Oe giants, StC'^ OT THE HINDOOS. 147 

the milk-men do the 4taff in making butter. The gods took hold of the head of the 
snake, and the giants of the tail; but being almost consumed by the poison from the 
mouth of the serpent, the gods privately entreated Vishnoo to prevail upon the giants 
to lay hold of the head, upon which he thus addressed them : ^How is it, said Vish« 
noo, that you, giants as you are, have taken hold of Yasookee's tail?* The gods and 
the. giants then changed places ; snd the elephant Oiravuta first arose from the chum« 
ed sea to reward their labours ; afterward the gem Koustoobho^the horse Oochoi-^ 
shruva — ^the tree Parijato; many jewels — ^the goddess Lukshmee — and then poison. 
Full of alarm at this sight, the gods applledto Muha-d6va (Shivii)— who, to save the 
world from destruction, drank up the poison, and received no other injury than a blue 
ma A on his throat.* Next came up the water of immortality, when the 330,000,000 
go'ds, and the usoorus without number, took their stand on each side, each claiming 
the mighty boon. Yishnoo proposed to divide it with his own hands; but while the 
usoorus went to prepare themselves by bathing in the sacred stream, the gods di*ahk 
up the greatest part of the nectar, and, to give them time to drink the whole, Yish-* 
noo assumed the form of a most captivating female, with which the giants were so 
charmed that they totally forgot the nectar. One of them, however, having changed 
his shape, mixed with the gods, and driilking of the water of life, became immortal; 
but Yishnoo, being informed of this circumstance by SSoryii and Choidrn, (the sun 
and moon) cut off the head of the giant. The head and trunk being thus immortalias^ 
ed, were made the ascending and ilescending nodes, imder the names Rahoo and 

The RaitiAS«ay.— Tffany stories respecting the wars of the rakshusos, or cannibals, 
^ith the gods, are contained in the pooranus and other shastrus, and several will be 
jEbund in different parts of this work. They are represented as assuming at pleasure 
the different shapes of horses, tygers, lions, buffalos, &c.; some have a hundred 
heads, and others as many arms.t in the Hindoo nrritings 'M«lee,.fioomalee, Ra« 
vunn, Koombhu-komii, Yibheeshunu, Indru-jit, Utikayu, and others, are distinguish- 
€id OS renowned rakshusos. As soon as bom, these giants are said to arrive at ma* 

 Hence ihia god is calltfS Neela-k^tu, the blue-throated. -f ^omc of the giants of the GreCiaa 

mythology, it will be remembeFed, had a hundred araos. ^ ^ 

148 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Paet hi. Chap, u 

turity : thej devour their enemies. All the rakshusus are bramhuns, and are said 
to dwell in the S. W. corner of the earth. 

Noirita, a mksbasa, is one of the ten guardian deities of the earth, and presides 
in the S. W. In this character he is worshipped at all the great festivals. He is re* 
presented in the form of meditation used by the bramhuns as a black man, having in 
^is right hand a scimitar. 

Story of Koomhhu'hurnu. Immediately after his birth, this cannibal stretched his 
arms, which were in proportion to his body, and gathered into his mouth every thing 
within his reach. At one time he seized 500 courtezans belonging to Indrri; atano* 
ther the wives of 100 sages, and cows and bramhuns without number. BriJmha at 
length threatened to destroy him, unless he contented himself with less, as he would 
presently eat up the earth. He now became more moderate, and began to perform 
the most severe austerities in honour of Brumha, which he continued for ten thousand 
years. The gods trembled on their thrones, lest Koombhu-kiimu, obtaining the bles- 
sing of Bramha, and especially the blessing of immortality, should swallow up every 
thing, — gods and men. They appealed to Brumha, and persuaded S jrr.swuttec, the 
goddess of learning, to enter into Koombhu-krirnu, and excite him to ask this blessings 
that he should continue to sleep day and niglit; which request Brumha granted, and 
sent the voracious rakshusii to enjoy his everlasting sleep. The friends of Koombhu'* 
kurnu however persuaded Brumha to change his, destiny : who now ordered that he 
should sleep uninterruptedly six months, but on the last day of the sixth should 
awake; during half of which day he should fight with and conquer Brumha, Yishnoo, 
andShivii, and duringtheother half be permitted to devour as much as he chose. At 
one meal he devoured 6000 cows, 10,000 sheep, 10,000 goats, 500 buffalos, 5000 deer, 
and drank 4000 hogsheads of spirits, with other things in proportion. After aU, he was 
angry with his brother Raviina, for not giving him enough to satisfy nature. His house 
is declared to have been 20 or 30,000 miles long, and his bed the whole length of the 
house. Lanka itself, says the Ramayonn, is 800 miles in circumference. Where 
then was the place for this bed? I have heard this question put by a person to the 

OfOiegianit,^.} OF THE HINDOOa, ]49 

bramhiins, who, unable to find room for Koombha-kornu^s bed, were laughed at by 
the shdodrus, theh* disciples. 

The Gundhurv&s and Kinnuriis are celestial choiristers, male and female. Tlie 
latter have horses' heads! ! !* 

The Vidya-dhurus are male and female dancers* The Ups&ras are also female 
dancers, greatly celebrated for their beauty : they have been frequently sent doAvn 
to earth to captivate the minds of religious devotees, and draw them from those 
works of merit which were likely to procure them the thrones of the gods. Eight 
of the iipsiiras are mentioned as beyond all others beautiful, Oorvviishee, M^niika^ 
Kumbha, Pdnchii-choora, Tilottama, Ghritachee, Boodbooda, and Mishrii-k6shce^ 
The five first of these are the mistresses of the gods ; and keep houses of ill-fame in 
the heaven of Indro. When any one of the gods visits the king of heaven, hegeae^- 
rally spends some time with one or more of these courtezans*. 

Story respecting the son of Indru and an Upsura^ On a certain occasion, many of 
the gods were invited to an entertainment at the palace of Indrti. In the midfet of the 
dance, Gfindhfirvti-sintl, the son of Indrti, was fascinated with the charms of one of 
the tipsttras, and behaved so indelicately, that his father commanded him to descend, 
to the earth in the fbrm of an ass. All the gods joined the son in endeavouring ta 
appease the angry father, who ultimately directed that GOndhurvti-sintt should be 
an ass in the day and a man in the night : he promised his son too, that when Dhara^ 
the king, should bum him, he should recover his place in heaven. With this modi* 

ficatioa of the curse, Gttndhtlrvtt-s^nii sunk to the earth, and alighted in the form of 
an assf near a pond at Dhara-nugiiriS. In the day the fallen son of Indrfi remained 
in this form near the pond; and in the night, in that of a man, he wandered from 
place to place to appease his hunger. One day a bramhiin came to this pond to bathe, 
when Gilndhtlrvii-s6ntt told him that he was the son of Indrii, and requested him 
to speak to king Dharti, to give him his daughter in marriage. The bramhiin conscnt- 

 Some idea may be formed of the taste of tlie early Hindoo poets, who here represent heavenly mnsic u cohh 
tng from beings with the mouths of horses ! 

1'30 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, tPAtxiii. Chap, t: 

cd, but on^peaking to the king, the latter refused to believe that he was Indm^s sob^ 
unless he himself had some conversation with him. The next day the kingy-irentf 
ivitfa his counsellors and courtiers, and held a conversation with the ass, who re« 
lated his history, and the cause of his degradation; but the king still refiued assent 
'Unless he performed some miracle. To which the ass C4>n8ented ; and in one n^ht rais- 
ed a fort of iron forty miles square, and six high. The next day the king seeing the 
fort finished, was obliged to consent, and to appoint the day of marriage. Hem«* 

vitedbrairihuns, kings, and other guests without number, to the wedding, and, on the 
day appointed, with dancing, songs, and a most splendid dhew, the 'bride being 
adorned with jewels and the richest attire, they marched to the iron fort to give the 
beautiful daughter of king Dhara in marriage to the ass. In that country weddings 
are celebrated in the day. When all was ready, they sent a bramhcin to call Gron- 
dhu£vii-s£nD from the pond; who, elated in the highest degree, having bathed, accooH 
panied the bramhnn^to the assembly. Heading music and songs, Giindhurvu-3£nu could 
not refi*ain from giving ihem an ass's tune: l>utihe guests, hearing the braying triT 
the ass were filled with sorrow : some were afiraid to speak their minds to the king* 
but they couldtiot help whispei^ng .and laughingK>ne amongstanother, covering thfeir 
mouths with their garments; others jnuttered to the king, ^ O Jang, is this the son 
of Indru !' < O great monarch! you have fo«ndan excellent bridegroom; you are 
peculiariy happy in having to give your daughter in marriage to the son of Indru; 
don!t delay the wedding; in doing good delay is improper; we never saw so glorious 
a wedding: we have heardof a camel being married *to an ass, when the ass, looking 
upon the camel, said,— * Bless me ! what a fine form !' and the camel, hearing the 
voice of the ass, said— ^ Bless me ! what a sweet voice !' The bramhuns continued: 
*In that wedding, however, the, bride and bridegroom were equal, but in this marri- 
age, that such a bride should have such a t>ridegroom is truly wonderful.' Other 
bramhuns said, « Oking,^tother weddings, as a sign of joy, the sacred shell is blown, 
but thou hast no need of that,' (alluding -to the braying of the asa^. The females 

<:ried out, ^ O mother! what is this J at the time of marriage to have an ass I What a 
miscrabre thing! What! will he give such an angelic female in marriage to an ass i\ 
The king, ashamed, held down Lis head. At length Gimdhurvu-senG began to con- 
yerse iwith the king in Siingskritu, and to urge him to.theiUlfilmentof hi8,promis% 

OftkcgiaaUy^cJ OF THE HINDOOS. Uf 

renundiiig him, that ^ thore was no act more meritorious than speaking truth ({nattiagp 
^tlM king in mind of his promise) ; that the body was merely a garment, and that wise 
^ man never estimate the worth of a person by the clothes he wears : moreover, be was 
' ^in this shape from the curse of his-fiitber, and during the night he should assume 
^Ihe body of a man. Of his being the son of Indru there could be no doubt/ The 
minds of the guests were now changed, and thej^ confessed, that though he had the 
outside of an ass, he was unquestionably the son of Indrii: for it was never known 
that an ass could speak Siingskiitii. The king, therefore, gave his daughter to him in 
marriage. B^ the lime the guests were dismissed night drew on, when Gtfndhtirvil-* 
s^nii assumed the form of a handsome man, and, haviiig dressed himself, respectfully 
went into the presence of the king. All the people, seeing so fine a man, and re*" 
collecting that in the morning he would become an assj felt both pleased and sor- 
rowftd. The king brought the bride in great state to the palace, and the next day 
gave her servants, camels, jewels, &c. and dismissed the guests with many presents. 
Bhara, however, in the midst of his other cares, could not but fbel anxious that 
Glindhtirvtt-s^nil should throw off his ass's body. After a thousand contrivances;; 
he said to himself^ <<}tindhiirva-s£ntt is the son-of Indi'ti; therefore he can never die: 
at night he casts off his ass's body, and it lies like a dead body: I wiU therefore bura^ 
this body^ md thus keep him constRntljin the shape of a^man.^ Accordingly, one 
night, he caused the ass's body to be burnt, — ^when Glindhtirvfi-s^nli appeared in hia 
presence, told him that now the curse was removed, and^that he should immediate— 
}f ascend to heaven. After say ing thi& he withdrew, and the king saw him no more* 

Nayikas. — These are female companions of Doorga, and are worshipped at Ihefes*^ 
tivals of this goddess. Eight of them have a pre-eminence over the rest. The 
Tttntrd-shastr&s declare, that these females visit the worshippers either as^ their wives, - 
or as mothers, and declare to them how they may obtain heaven, or, as sisters, bring 
to them any female they choose, and reveal whatever they desire to know of the 
present or future. He who wishes to obtain the company of a Nayika must wor- 
ship her thrice a day, and repeat her name at night in a cemetry, for seven, or fifteen, 
or thirty days. On the last night he must continue to repeat her name till she 

appears to him, and asks what he wishes fon Sheremains with him during the night,!. 

152 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part in. Chap- i. 

and departs the next morning, leaving with him presents to a large amount, which^ 
however, he must expend the next day, or they will all evaporate. If the worshipper 
wishes to go to any place in the three worlds, the Nayika takes him thither in a mo- 
ment. If after cohabitmg withoneofthe Nayikas, he cohabit with any other female, 
the Nayika immediately destroy shim. Aniinda-chtindriS, a bramhiin of Soopoorii in 
Veera-bhoomee, who died only a few years since, is said to have obtained the fruit of 
his worshipping the Nayikas. 

The Yukshus are the servants of KooverK, the god of riches, and fly through the 
world preserving the wealth of men. A number of stories, not worth detailing, prin« 
cipally referring to their wars or intrigues, are contained in the pooraniis. In the 
form of meditation, Koovera isdescribed as a white man, having a hammer in his 
right hand. He is worshipped at the festival of the goddess Lukshmee, and at all 
the other great festivals, but has no separate feast, image, nor temple. The 

Ramayunu relates that Koov^rri, by prayer to Briimha, accompanied with religious 
austerities, obtained Lanka (Ceylon) ; the very mire of whose streets is gold. Here 
he reigned till Raviinu dispossessed him. Brumha also gave to this god the cfaai'iot 
Pooshpiika ; which had the property of expansion, and of going wherever the cha- 
rioteer wished. From Lunka, Kooverii went to mount Koilasn, wliere he is 8up<« 
posed to be at present. 

Pishachus. — These messengers of the gods guard tlie sacred places, the resort 
of pilgrims. Sixty thousand are said to guard the streams of the Ganges from the 
approach of the pro&ne. 

The Goodghuk&s^ the SiddhnSy the Bhddfu<i^ and the Char anus. —I^h^ge are beings 
of inferior orders, residing with the gods as servants. 

There are several other orders of females, as the Yoginced, Dakinees, Kaldnees, 
Shakhinees, Bhootinecs, and Pretinees, who wait upon Doorga or Shiva, as their 
attendants. All these also arc worshipped at the gi*eat festivals. 

Ot n* oow.'^SHthHiL'} OF THE HINDOOS. IDS 


Of the terrestrial godA. 

. THE Hindoo celestial goddesses ^ it will he seetiy are teri/few. There are no more 
indeed than Oiree which can be considered as reallj/ distinct, and as holding a distinguished 
place among this doss of Hindoo deities : these are Doorga, S&r&swSteej and li&kshmee* 
Many ofthc others are different forms of Doorga; andMttn&say Shushtee^and Sheet&lay 
would have been placed^among the terrestrial goddesses, but they do not seem to haoe had 
an earthly origin. — / now proceed to give an account ofthe terrestrial gods ^ some of whom 
mre worshipped with more shew than any of the cekstiid deities* 



ACCORDING to the Shrce-Bhagavutu, Mfihabharutu, and other works, this god, 
a form of Vishnoo, was incarnate to destroy kings Shishoo-palu and Kungsn, and a 
number of giants* 

Krishnii was bom at Mut'hoora; his father's name was Ynsoo-dcvr], a kshutrijai 
and his mother's Devukee; but Knngsu seeking to destroy bim when an in&nt, his 
fitther fled to Vrinda-vunu, and concealed him in the house of Nunda, a voishyu : 
bence he is sometimes called the son of Nundu* 

Many stories are recorded of Krishau in the pooraniis: in bis infancy he deprived 
a giant of her breath who had poisoned her breasts before she gave him suck;+-^ 
soon after be destroyed a carriage against which he hurt his foot when laid by ^his 
nurse at the door to sleep; j: — ^Nundu's wife when looking into his mouth one day, had 

• Tbe black. 

f It is comiBon for a Hindoo nnrse (o oiTer the breast to a Beighboar'f child wjben she happens to be oa a viaiU 

t Mothers fireqaently lay their infants exposed to the rays of (be son (o aleep, after robbihg^eir breasts wUht)!!. 


151 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Paet hi.Chaf.t; 

a surprizing view of the three worlds, with Brumha, Vishnoo and Shivu ritfingao 
their thrones ; — ^at the age of eight years he took up mount Goyurdhunu in his armSy 
and held it as an umbrella over the heads of the villagers and their cattle during a 
dreadful storm, with which the angry king of heaven was overwhelming them; — he 
created a number of cattle, and also ofboys and girls, to replace those which Briimhs 

had stolen from Yrinda-vona; — ^he destroyed a large hydra which had poisoned tbft 
waters of the Yamoona^ — ^he seduced thewifeof Ayuna-ghoshn, avoisbyu, and sport-* 

ed with 16,000 milk-maids in the wilderness of Yrindu ; — he next assumed four ariii8| 
destroyed Kungsn, and placed Kungsu's father on the throne; after this he was enga- 
ged in various quarrels, and had to combat with many formidable enemies, which 
induced him to build a fort at Dwaruka, where he resided, and married two wives ;— 
he next joined the &mily of Yoodhisht'hiru in their war with the race of Dooryodha* 
nu, — and lastly destroyed Shishoo-palu. He closed his life with an act worthy of such 
acharacter, by destroying his whole progeny,* and was at length himself accidentally 
killed by an arrow while sitting untter a tree. 

It is very possible, if any real Hindoo history could be discovered, that many of 
these jfacts would be found recorded in the life of a Hindoo king of this name; which 
&cts have been embellished ly the Asiatic poets till they have elevated the hero in- 
to a god. The images of this lascivious and blood-stained hero are now worshipped 
by the Hindoos with an enthusiasm which transforms them into the very image of 
Krishnu himself. 

* The posterity of Kridin&, ny several pooranfis, were destroyed by the cvrse of a bramhAn; but as aU 
cheats are ascribed to Krighnii by bis votaries, this of destroying his own family is referred to his agency. So ia- 
farnoos is the character of this god, even among tiioiie wlio liope for salvation through him, that Vilvva-milngfiliV> 
A blind poet, wrote tlie following verse, which certainly contains the severest poisible censure of tliis profl^sate 

deity: '* Oh IKrishnii I thoa who didst destiny thy own oiftpring; 

Thoii who didst renounce (Seeta) the spoUess daughter of Zilnfikfi, in the wilderness ^ 

T.10U who didst cast down to hades Viilee, who had given thee his all — 

Who would think on thee, if thoa wcrt not the deliverer from death ?" 

  « • ^ 

In exact agreement with this Siiagshrita vene, was the declaration made before several perFons in compif* 

tty in tile year 1812, by Ram-aat'hQ, the second Sangskritfl pundit in Uie College of Fort-William, who, speak* 

log of the onlvenal profligacy of jMumers in Calcntta, declared, that every house contained a XriiAau. 

Of cbe gods.— JSTmAnii.] OFTHEHINOOOS. 


This goA is represented at a bbck man ; holding A flute to hi* moath with both 
lands ; his jnistress-Radha stands on his left. 

On .the Sth of the moon's decreaiie in the month Bhadra^ an annual ftstival is held 
in the night, to celebrate the birth of this god. On this day all the. worshippers &st;* 
The regular Hindoos, and the disciples of the Gosaees^t sometimes differ a day or 
two inx^lebrating this lEeast. After the ceremonies of worship are condnded^ the 
worshippers assemble before the ^temple near a hole cut in the ground, into which 
Itave been thrown Water, oil, ciirds, turmerick, and earth, and seize first one persoii 
and then another, and throw them into this hole; and others jump into it. Musie^ 
dancing, singing obscene songs. Sec. accompany these acts of rude memment, at the 

dose of which, dancing through the streets, the crowd go to-somepool, or to the river^ 
end wash themselves; and thus the festivity ends. 

In the month Shrav"m5 another festival is held in honour of Krishnn, called Jhooi 
irmtl-yatra4 On the 11th liight of the increase of the moon this festival beginj^ 
when a chair or throne containing the image being suspended from the ceiling of an 
adjoining room in the temple, the proprietor begins to swing the image, and other 
branihim guests continue it at pleasure. At ten o'^dock the god is taken to his usual 
place, when the different forms of worship are repeated, amidst the offering of flow- 
ers. Incense, sweetmeats, fruits, and other acts of adoration. During the celebration 
of worship in the house, the crowd out of doors sing, dance, and make a horrid dis- 


cord with barbarous instruments of music, connecting with the whole eveiy kind of 
indecency. At twelve o'dock^ the owner of the image entertains a great multitude of 

• U a Hindoo fbt, the penon abBtaini, f^r three days, fromanotBUag himself with oil, ftom cuiianhiai 
lBtercoane,.from fish, every thio^ fried, and eats oaly once a day. At the Ume of a Jewish fait, the person b 
■aid to hiTc " afflicted his toal ;" but amoni; the Hindoos fasting; and merriment go together. The Jewish fast 
was connected with moral sentiment. The Hindoos fast as an act of mere ceremonial purity. 

f The Gosaees are the religions leaden of a large portion of the wonfaippeis of Krishnfi. Gosaee is a term 
«r respect equivalent to Sir. 

t Iheiwi^giagfatlTal. 


1*6 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION^ [Pabtwi. Chap. K 

'bramliniis. AftfiT eating^ and drinking, they literally ^rise up to play:' youths, dres* 
bed so as to represent Krishnii and his mistress Radha, dance together; and the fes* 
tivities are thus continued till the crowd retire at day-light. Some keep this feast 

' for five ni^hts^ beginning on the eleventh^ and others for three nights^ beginmfig 
on the thirteenth.. 

On the 15th of the increase of the moon in the month Kartikii, another lestiYal ik 
held during three nights to celebrate the reveb of this impure god with the mUk^ 
maids. It ia called the Rasu. Each night, after the ceremonies in the temple are 
elosed, the crowd carry the image out with much noise> music, singing, and dancings 
^and place it in a brick building in the street, which is open on all sides, and has one 
highly elevated sitting place. Tliis building is annually gilt, ornamented^ and grand- 
ly illuminatedfor this festival. Sij^teen small Images of Krishna are necessary on this 
occasion^ but a very small gold image, about the size of a breast-pin, is placed as the 
filbjeei of adoration,, and afterwards given to the officiating bramhun. At the dose- 
of the festival, the day images are thrown into the river*. 

Round the buildinjg in Aestreet, booths- are erected, filled with sweetmeats, phiy-- 
things, and other artides, as at an English fair. Here &thers and mothers, lead- 
ing their children by the hand, or carrying them on their hips,* come for fairings^ 
^Thieves and gamblers are very busy at these times ;t and upon the whole it is amazing 
how much a European is here reminded of an English race-ground. At these times I 
have seen the grey-headed id<dator and the mad youth dancing together, the old 
man lifting up his withered arms in the dance, and giving a kind of horror to the 
scene, which idolatry itself united to the- vivacity of youth would scarcely b^ able to 

• llito IS Uie way in which all HlncIooB carry dieir diUdren. A chiNDfe laiely mtmAsL apcmft^ arm» 

as ia Europe. The same custom appears to have existed amoBgthe Jew* ? '* y« shaU be borne apon-ber iid«s». 
and be dandled npon her knees.** JuriaA lxtt. 1?. 

-f In the year 1810, on account of the depredations of preeedfag yean, the Magistrate of Seravpore ftr^ 
bad the erection of booths and aU games at thb festival : to consequence of which an ezpence of near four hundnd 
roopees, iocnrred in performing the cercmoaies of worship, fell npon the owner of the image of Krisluifl> 'nh» 
would otberwifie ha^e received as much from the proprietors of the booths and gujitag fihojw. 

Or 7KB tiQi>B.^£risAnii.^ OFTHJJHJNDOOS. 


iaspire.* In England ibe tmit to eorrupting amusements is m^ely a borse-race; but 
in Bengal the Hindoo is at onee called to what he considers divine worship and to a 
licentious festival ; no one inmgining, but that worship and adultery may be perform* 
#d in the same hour* About four or five in the morning the crowd carry the god back 
to the temple ; and then retire to cure their hoarseness and rest their wearied bodies. 

On the fourth mommg, having brought the god home, after the usual ceremonies^ 
Jthey singsongs in celebration of the actions of Krishna; and continue them from ten 
till twelve or one o'clock in the day. Many eome to hear, who present various offer* 
ings to the god ; after which a grand feast is given to the bramhcins. The expences of 
this festival are defrayed either by rich natives^or from the revenues of the temple£r. 

At the full moon in Phalgoona^ die Dol&,f another swinging festival, is held.^*- 
Fifteen days before the full moon the holidays begin, from which time the Hindoos 
assemble in the night to sing and danoe^. and iivthe day they wander af^out the streets 
throwing red powder:}: at the passengers, either witktheir hands or through a syringe. 
On thQ night before the full moon, the ceremonies of worship are perfoimed ; at the 
dose of which^ having besmeared themselves with red powder, they carry the god 
from his house to some distance, amidst the sounds of music, dancing, fireworks, 


Ringing, &c. A bamboo with a straw man tied to it, having been erected in some 

* inaminalions, fireworks^ and the gnildioi; of their templMy give a yerjf sh'ewy effect to HinAoo ceremo^ 
nies, which are often performed at (he time of the f^Il moon, andatmidDij^ht. A moon-light night in India is high- 
Jy pleaaknt. At the lime of fhe Rasti fc&tiTal, I have seen a scene so gall^^ illnminated and adorned, that the ivhole 
seemed enchantment; every native, as he approached the god, threw hin^self on the gronnd with the most pro- 
found reverence, and muttered his-praise with rapture as he mfpglf d i» the delighted crowd. Conld I have for* 
gotten thai these people were penetrating a dreadfW rrine, and that these nightly festivals wer»eoDBected with^ 
the greatest impurities, I should have been highly gratified* 

+ All these festivals are intended to represent theebscene acts or play of KAhwC. This Is the p?ay of 
swinging common to- young folks in Europe. I am told, that 00 thb occasion, ia various places io Htndoost'hanfi, 
many families sit up all night swinging by the light of the moon. They suspeud a cord betw iit two trees, and 
while some are swingings others are singing impure songs, and others daifcing. 

I This powder is made with the roots o£wild gingery coloared with sappau wood. Olhfr ltigreii«ii n** 
added to make superior ]uods» 

158 HISTOEY, LITERATURE, A2^d RELIGION, [Pxit mi. Chap, i: 

plain, they place the god here, and again worahip him. After three hours have been 
spent in various sports, especially with fireworks, diey set fire to the bamboo and.. 
straw, carrying back the image to the temple. Very earlj in the morning, they.bathe. 
the god, set him on a chair, and then worship him, roddng him in this chair, • and* 
throwing upon him red powder. At twelve o^dock at noon these ceremonite are re-« 
peated with greater splendour, when many offerings are presented, and the bramhuna 
entertained. About four the festival closes by another repetition of the same cere^ 
monies. The god is then washed, anointed, clothed, and put into the temple, where 
food remains before Mm for some time, and is then given to the bramhiins. » 

Beside these many other festivals less popidar are held in the course of the year J 

Many small blacl^ stones, haying images of Krishntt cut in them, are to be found 
in the houses of the Hindoo<) ; to which different names are given;, but they are all 
forms of Krishnri* The temples dedicated to Krishntt are very numerous ; and it 
is a scandalous fact that the imaq^e of Radha, his mistress, always accompanies that 
4Df KrishnrT, and not thereof his wives Ropkmine^ and SQtyri-bliama. Many {Arsons 
may be heard in the streets, and when sitting in their shops, repeating to themselves 
aod to parrots, the names of Radha and Krishnu, as works of merit. Pantomimical 

entertainments are firequently represented^ in which the iewd actions of tiiis god are' 

Six parts out often of the whole Hindoo population of Bengal are supposed to be 
the disciples of this god. The for greater part of these, however, are of the lower 
Orders, and but few of them branfh&ns.* The mark on their foreheads consists of 
two straight lines fyonx the tip of the nose to the back of the head. 

A story of Krishn&, — The death of Shishoo-palu is thus rdated : A quarrel arose 
at a sacrifice between Krishna and this monarch, respecting the point of precedency^ 
which Shishoo-pala ^would not resign to Krishjau : ^ What !' says he, < shall I be pre- 

P The greater part of Uie branhibn are discipleB of the female deities (Shaktus). 

0# ran ooM.— J&uMI.] OF THE HIND009, 15^ 

cededbj Cbe am of a cow-kerd; one who har eaten with a cow-keq>er, who has Ie4f 
cows to {Mature; and has been guUly ofall manner of abominations I' Krishnu restriin- 
ed his rage fi>r some time, but at length became exceedingly angiy, and cut off hi« 
head at one blow. It was prophesied of Shishoo-pala that as soon as he saw the 
'person by whose hands he should die, two of his four arms would fidl off; and this 
is said to have happened the moment he saw Krishnu at the meeting of the kings at 
Ihis sacrifice. 

Another Storjf. — On a certain occasion the lascivious Krishnu heard, that king Dan- 
dee possessed a horse, which eveiy night assumed the form of a beautifiil female*. . 
Krishnu asked for this horse; but the king refiised him, and fled to Bheemu, Krishnu'^^ 
friend, who, rather than abandon a person who had claimed his protection, resolved 
to break the ties of friendship with Krishnu, and go to war with him« A war com- 
menced, which continued to rage with the utmost faiy, till the horse, assuming thm 
shape of a kinnurSe, ascended to heaven, the period ofthe curse under which it lay 
being expired. 

Krishnu rtumng his friend bjf urging him to declare a deliberaU fab€hood.—ln tba 
WIU* betwixt the fiimily of Dooryodhiinii and the l^andtivus, Dronachaijyii was so 
mighty a warrior that the Panduvus had no hopes of success unless they could cut 

him off; to accomplish which, Krishnu contrived to throw Dronacharjyii offhisgoard^ 
by causing it to be reported through the army, that his son Ushwutt'hama was killed* 
The &ther refused to believe the report unless Yoodhist'hira would say it was true* 
Krishnu pressed Yoodhist'hirtl to tell this lie, as it would insure success to their at 
fiirs ; and, in cases of extremity, the shastra had declared it lawful to employ fidse- 
hood. Yoodist'liird at first positively refused, but was at length persuaded by 

the entreaties of Krishnu, Urjoonu, and others, who told him the assertion would not 
be a lie, for an elephant of Dooiyodhuna's, of the same name, had actually been killed 
in battle. Dronacharjya was so overcome when he was thus brought to believe the 
news, that Urjoonu soon dispatched him ; which completely changed the face of the 
battle. On account of this &lsehood, Yoodhist'hiru, in going to heaven, was terrifi* 

ed by a sight of the torments of hell. Where did Krishnu, the &ther of this lie, go 2 


Thep and murder commuted by Krishnu.—Vnkea Kriahna was goiDg to Mut*hooni| 
to destroy Kungsu, as he approached the city, he felt ashamed of the meannesa of his 
dress, which consisted only of some shreds of cloth, like ropes, tied round his IcMag; 
and said to his brother Bulu-ramu, ^ All are going to this sacrifice elegantly dres»<^ 
ed; we cannot go in this condition/ Krishna then sent his brother to a washerman, 
who however would not part with the clothes in his possession, as they belonged to king 
Knagsa. A quarrel ensued, inlhe midst of which Krishna killed the washerman, and 
carried off the clothes ; these free-booters next went to a sliop and stole two necklaces ; 
and afterwards seized some sandal-wood, which a deformed woman was taking to the 
palace of Kungsu ; but, to reward her, Krisbnu pulled her straight, and made her more 
beautiful than the upsuras. The woman asked Krishna, since he had made her so 
'beautiful, who should marry ber. Krishna asked her to whom she wished to be unit- 
ed. She said to himself; — and .from that tiuie she became his mistress* 



THIS is an image of Krishnti in his childhood. He is resting on one knee, wit^ 
his right hand extended, craving some sweetmeats from his mother. 

This in&nt god is worshipped at the festivals in honour of Krishna : the ceremo-* 
fiies are the same, though the formulas are different 

Those who preserve stone, or bras^, or other images of this god in their houses^ 
as many do, worship them every day, or whenever they choose. Many persons 
receive the initiating incantation of Gopala as their guardian deiiy. 

Gireeshn-chundrfi, the raja of Niidceya, in the year 1807, had two dreams, in 
which the god Gopald appeared to him, and told him, that in a certain place in 

« The cowherd. 

Of THE GOM.^GopH^at'hi.^ OF THE HINDOOS. 161 

Nodeeya, a beautifiil image of him was buried deejx in^ie ground. The raja paid 
'Ho attention to his drpams, till the god appeared to him a third time, telling him the 
saine thing; when he consulted his principal servants, who sent labourers to dig up 
the image, but none was found. A few nights after, Gc^alu appeared again, and 
told the ra}a that he was to be found in such a place, describing (he spot in a mor6 
particular manner. The raja again sent his servants, who found the image. The greats 
est rejoicings took place at NudSeja on this occasion ; learned bramhuns were cal- 
led ; and a vast concourse of people collected from the surrounding country to behold 
this miraculously discovered god, and to witness his installation, at which four thou« 
sand roopees were expended : a temple was afterwards erected on Che spot, and the 
gpd placed in it. This image is now become very &mous : the offerings presented to it 


do not amount, it is said, to less than two hundred roopees monthly. 

Another image of the infimt Krishna, called Balu-gopalu, made of stope or metal, 
18 kept in the houses of many, and worshipped daily, as well as at the festivals in ho- 



THIS 18 another form of Krishnii : In some places the image is worshipped every 
day, as weU as at the festivals in honour of Krishna. 

A celebrated image of this god is set up at Ugra-dwcepd, where an annual festival 
is held, on the 11th and five following days of the decrease of the moon, in Choitrh. 
The origin of this image is so recent, that the story is known to every Hindoo : two 
religious' mendicants, since become fiunous among tiie followers of Krishnii, Choitiinyli 
and Nityanonda, sent their disciple Ghoshn-t*hakoortJ, who did not relish an austere 
life, to Ugra-dweepo, and directed him to take a certain stone with him, and make 

• The god of the miUL-maidf. U 

lB2t HISTOllY, LITERATURE, ArNi»RELIGION> [Pahtiu. Ghap/i. 

on. image of Gopee-naOhd, which he should set up there and worship. Ghosko* 
tliakoora obeyed iis spiritual guides; took the stone on his head; set it up as a god, . 
the gift of ChoiliinyiLand Nityannndu, and began to woi-ship it in public daily. The 
god soon appeared to him. in dreams, and revealed a number of secret things; so 
that by degrees Gopeenat'ha of Ugra-dweepil became very fiimous.- One night a 
stranger came to the temple at a very late hour, when no one was awake to giye 
him refreshment. The god himself, however, • in the form of Ghoshu-t'hakoora, 
took an ornament from his ande, and purchased soma food for the stranger, at an 
adjoining shop. In the morning there was a great noise in the town about this 
ornament, when the shopkeeper and, the stranger declared these fiicts, so creditable 
to the benevolence of the god ; and from this circumstance the fame of GopeenatMi" 
spread still wider. Afler the death oTGhoshU-f hakoorn, .the god appeared to his 
successor, and directed him to perform the funeral rites; in the celebration of which 
it was contrived that the god himself should present the offering to the manes; for 
when the koosha grass, the rice, and the water were put into the hands of the 
image, the god (a little more water than iisual bemg poured into his hand), poured 
out the offering, when the crowd set up a great shout, • declaring that the god him- 
self had presented the offering to the manes. At present, it is said, this god brings - 
in not less than 25,000 roppees. annually to his owner^ 

At the above-mentioned festival^ it issuppes^d that 100,000 people assenAleead^* 
c'ay at Ugru-dweepQ, among whom are great multitudes of lewd women, who accom- 
pany the religious mendicants. -^iPilthy songs about KrishntL and his mistresses are * 
sung by the crowd, and all manner of indecent diversions practised. . Different casta 
eat together here. 

After the death of GhoshS-fhakooril the image'fell into the hands of the raja, or lord ' 
of the soil, who sent bramhnns to perform the ceremonies before the image, and re- 
ceive the offerings. Raja Nuva-krishna of Calcutta once seized this image for a debt 
of three lacks of roopees, due to him from the owner, raja Krishntt-chiindra-rayii.The 
latter afterwards regained the image by a suit at law^ but not till NavQ-krisbnil bad 

made another Gopce-nat'hii exactly like it.. 

Op THE COM.— ja^/iuwrfA^i?.] OF THE HINDOOS; 


All this has aiisen ont of a- stone given by two mendicants to one of their compa- 
oils I— Who can avoid fijeling a mingled sensation of disgust and pity, while he be- 
^Ids ftuch multitudes/the abject slaves of^ superstition so degrading. 

SBcnoN uv* 


THE image of this god has no 1^ and^only stufeaps of arms ;t the bead and eycf 
«e very, large. At flie festivalR the bramhuns adorn him with silver or golden hands; 

Krishna, in some period of Hindoo history, was accidentally killed by UngudU, % 
Iiunter ; who left the body to rot under the tree where it fell.'ISome pious person, how- 
ever, collected the bones of Krishntt aend placed them in a box^ where they remained 
till IndrS-dhoomnu, a king^ who was performingreligioos austerities to obtain some fa« 
Tour of Vishnoo, was directed bflf the latter to form the image orjagannat^hu, and puC 
into its belly these bones of Krishnn^ by which means he should obtain the firuit of his 
religious austerities. Indrii-dhoomnii enquired who should make this image ; and waa 
commanded to pray to Yishwu-kni'mu^ He did soyandobtained fab^request ;rbut Vish- 
wii-karmii at the same time declared, that if any one disturbed him while preparing th# 
image, he would leave it in an unfinished state. He then began, and in one night built 
atemple upon the blue mountain in- Orissa, and proceeded to prepare ^eimage in4he 
temple ; but the impatient king, after waiting fifteen days, went to the spot; on which 
y ishwii-kormii desisted firom his work, and left the god without hands or feet. . The 
king was very much disconcerted ; but on praying to Bromha, he promised to make the 
image &mous in its present shape*. 

• The l«rd of the world, firom JC^&t, tiie world, and nafha, lord. 


+ The Athenians placed stataes at thelf doors to drive away 'ihieTes,'whIch Ihey icalled neYm»,from'MercDrx« 
These images had neither hands nor feet, and hence Mercury was called Cylleaius, and by contraction CyIlius,frol& 
KaHo§^ viz. without hands or feet. 

t Thearddtec^oftfaegod8» 


J^. HISTORY, LlTEliATURE, Man UBhlGkOHy [Pam m«. C»af» % 

' Indra-dhoomnu now invited all the gods ta be present at tbe setting^ up etf lUi iiiige ; 
Bramha himself acted as high priest, and gave ejes and a soul to the gpd^ ndiich eoilb 

pletely established the fiune of J^gilnnat'hu. This image is saidtelie laii'pofl itear 
the present temple, at Jugonnat'hii-ksh^tru in Orissa, commonly known among the 
English by the name of Jugnnnat^ho's pagoda. The particulars of this place will be 
found in the account of the Hindoo holy places^ the resort of pilgrims. 

Jngannat'ha has many temples in Bengal, built by rich men aa works of merit, and 
endowed either >irith lands, villages, or money. The worship of this god is perform- 
ed in these temples every morning and evening ; at which times people come to see 
the god, or prostrate themselves before him. Daring the ifltervals of worship, and 
after the god haa partaken of the offerings, he is laid down to sl^ap^^ when the (em-^ 
pie is shut up till the next hour of worship. 

Bramhiins may make afferings of bofled rice to this or to any other god, but shtSS* 
drtis cannot : they are permittedtoofferonly dried rice.f The food which is offered 
to JdgQnnat'hii is either eaten by the bramhiins and their femilies at the temples, or 
by passengers and others, who purchase it of those shop-keepers that have bought it of 
the bramhans; a little is given to the poor. 

There are two annual festivals in Bengal in honow of tUs god; the Snanii-yatni> 
an4 the Rat*htl-yatra. 

At the snanu-yatra in the month Jyoisht'fall, this lord of the world, wrapped in a 
tloth, is carried out and jdaced in a seat on a large terrace built in an open place near 
the temple. Here the bramhans, surrounded by an immense concourse of specta- 
tors, bathe the god by pouring water on his head, during the reading of incantati- 
ons. The people at the dose of the ceremony make obeisance, some by lifting their 

* Hie inuges of the fods in all the Hindoo temples, at certain honn, ore laid down as ta sleep $ at le«Bt^ aU 
those that are small enough to be laid down and lifted up again. 

•f IV bramhans do not eat the boiled rice of the shdodrus. Sweatmeats, fruit, the water of the Ganges, Ac. 
are things received from sboodrOs. Vet there areafew bramhttiis who refuse eves sweetmeats aod watcf from 
the hands of bhoodrOs. 

p*«8<0M^W#j*i«fW.:k CVF TEE Hilt P0O3; ififr 

bwda to tbeirfarehenda and. othecs bjii[roa(rRti»9>rMd tlusa depart, assured by tiie 
^bastm tluit tlioj sbaU be eabjecl to no more birtbs, bat be admitted to heaven af« 
^AedeathoCtliisbodj, Tbe braml^fiaa tbep wipe fbis creator of the world, andcar- 
Xj him back to the tonple, after which the ceremonies of worship are performed be* 
fore him with great shew. This snai^Iiowever, is not confined to Jltgannatlia, but at 
this time;aU the diflferent images of Vishnoo, throughout the country,^ are bathed. It is 
thecustom of t}i^Hiadooa to feed their chiUren with rice for the first limewhmthej 
are six, seven, or nine months old. On this dajr^ befiNPe the ceremony of feeding the 
child, they bathe it, repeating incantations. Krishnil partook of his first rice at the 
fill! moon in Jyoi9ht'hii ; in commemoration of which, this snanu-yatra is performed 
annuaUy by the worshij^pers of any separate form of Y ishnoo. 

About seventeen days after the snantf-yatra^ on the second of the increase of the 
moon in Asharhif, the Ru'thu or cat festival k held. Before the god is taken out of 
the temple to be placed on the car, the usual ceremonies of worship are performed* 
The car belonging to the image near Seramp<M*e is in the form of a tapering tower, be* 
4ween thirty and fiMrtyculMts high. It has sixteen wheds, two horses, and one coach* 
man, all of wood. Jugunnat'hu, his brother B jla-'i*am^, and their sister Soobhodra 
are drawn up bj ropes tied round the neck, and seated on benches in an elevated part 
of the carriage, when a servant on each side waves a tail of the cow of Tartary, called 
a dbamfiru.* The crowd draw the carriage bj means of a hawser; their shouts, a» 
the carriage proceeds, may be heard at the distance of a mile. Being arrived at the 
iqppointed spot, the bramhOns take out theimages, and carry them to the temple of 
some other god, or to a place prepared for them, where they remain eight days : At 
Serampore, JogfinnafhS, and his brother and Mster, visit the god RAdha-viiU6bhn;+ 
iind here the wives of bramhons, who are never seen at shews, and who seldom leave 
home, come to look at Jagmuiafhu. The car stands empty during this time, and the 
crowd fiock to gaze at the indecent figures, j: alluding to the abominations of die gods, 
.^hich are painted all over it. Temporary shops are erected near the place where^ 

* ThechamArft is a neceasary appendage to royalty aasoDg the ffiadoos. 

i AjH>tIier fom oflLri^hiia, The muae iBttmatcs thatlMi god U the paianoar of Radluu 

t RosuuiB i. S7. 

166 HISTORY, LITEIU'TURE, akdt RELIGION; t^^ttT ni: Chap, t; ' 

the car stands, like booths on a race-gfroimd.^ At the end of eight days, the god 19 
again drawn up by the neck, placed in thecar, and carried back to the place from whence 
he came, but the crowd is not quite so^great as when the carriage is drawn out. Many 
recent instances might be wllected of persons, diseased or in distress, casting themr* 
spires under the wheels of thisiponderous car, and being crushed to death. 

This festival is^ intended ta celebrate the diversions' oTKrishnoBAd the milkmaiSs, 
with whom he used to ride out in his chariot. 



TTHIS god was cotemporary.with Krislm!i* Tlis image, painted 'white, almost' 
always .goes with that of Jugtlnnat'hay though in a few temples it is set up alona. 
At the worship of Jtigunnat'hu, and also at that of Krishnu, a ^hort service is per* 
formed in the name of Bulii-ramu, whose image alsa sometimes accompaaiea that of 
Krishnn. Some place the. image of R^viitec by the side of her husband. From the 
sutyu to the kulee-yooga this female, the dai^hter of king RevuUl, remained unmar-* 

i:ied4 . The king, at length, asked Brumha, to>vhem heshouldgive his daughter ia 
marriage; Brumha recommended Bulu-ram|i,. who saw her for the first time when 
ploughhig; notwithstanding her immense stature,, (it. is said her stature -reached as 
high as a sound ascends in clapping the hands seven times,) Buiri-ramtl majried her; 
and to bring dowil her monstrous height j he' fastened aploi^gh-^hare toJier shoulders. 

*^Thc Spirit 6fgaimbling Is very preiTaleiif at this Testivall I have bren credibly ihformed, that, a year ortwa 
ago, at Serampore , a o^^ actually sold his wife for a slave^ in order to supply hii&s^ with money for gaaaag: 

f He who pvrsues pleasure, or bestows it, in his own strength. 

t This old maid mui| have been 3,888>000yfi«rB old atxhetiae ofJier 4aarriage, if we date her birth froa» 
fthe hegiuni^g of the sdty d-yoogH. 

©FTHEGOD«.-^JBa»iiJ.l, OF THE HINDOT)*. , 107 



THE Pollowin^liistoiyorthis god forms a brieftable of contents of the RamayunTi,T 
epic poem, much celebrated among the Hindoos* 

' At a certain period, king Dashu-nit'hu, having Been cherished with great affectftm 
% hb wife K^koiyee^ promised her whatever she should ask. She told him that she 
<Would avail herself of his promises on some^iuture occasion ; and when Ramtl called 
.tb the eoadjutorship by the voice ofthe people -and to which DUshtt-rat'hu gladly as** 
:Bented, Kekoiyee reminded the king of his promise*, and at the instigation of a deformed 
-and revengeful female slave, whom Rimu had formerly beaten, she petitioned that 
Ramo might he exiled to a distant forest to live as an ascetic,* and that BHuriitu her son 
might be installed in his stead. The king reluctantly complied. RamQ however readily 
submitted, and went into the forest; taking with him Secta and his brother Lokshmiiiio ; 
Difshu-rut'hu soon died of grief for Rama ; after which a shoe of Ramu^s vras pkced 
on the throne, Bhurntfi refusing the crown; When in the forest, Soorpii-nnkhaVthe 
sister of Ravonn, a giant who reigned at Lrunka; (Ceylon) proposed marriage, to 
Kama, who sent her to Lokshmiinri ; he sent her again to Ramti ; Ramo sending her 
Vhck to Lukshmnnii, the latter cut off her nose, on thisshe'^fled ^6 her brothers Khurfi 
and Dooshunu, who immediately made war upon Ramn; Ramn, however, destro^fied 
them,' as well as their army of 14',000 giants (rakshosas). : Ravuno on hearing of these 
events requested Mare6cha,aBother giant, togo to the rcsidenceof Ramti in the form 
^ a beavtiftd^deer, and tc^mpt Uamo to pursue him, while be stole Se&ta.. Marejedui^ 

• The luippy or he who makes happy. 

f I hare oaiitte d tiie loni; table of contentt of thiiTwork' tnserted In thrfiri edftion, thiaking U onneceasary, 
the RamayOnft with an English translation is imeAng from the Serampore pre». 

t DOsiA^dit*h& had 950 wives. 
^ AimmegiTea to her 09 accovntofherhaTiiigiiaUslikeaHindoofiui for winnowing cora^ 

168 HISTORY, LITERATURE, amd RELIGION, [Part hi. Chap. ^ 

consented, and Ramn, at the urgent request of Seeta, pursued the flying deer, leaving 
Liikshmanu to guard his family. When Mareechn, in the form of the deer, waa wound- 
ed, he set up a loud ciy like the voice of Ramu, which greatly alarmed Seeta, who 
prevailed on Lakshmiinu to follow her beloved husband. While Seeta was thus left 
alone, Raviina carried her oiF in triumph* The poem then describes the grief of Ramii 
mod his brother for the loss of Seeta* ''Ravonj, in tdung away Seeta, was met by Ju-* 
tayoo, a vulture, formerly the friend of Diwhn-riit'hu, This bird endeavoured to deli- 
ver Seeta by fighting with RavonS, but being unsuccessful, Seeta directed him to in« 
form Ramti, that Ravtinii was carrying her away. Rama in his search for Seeta met 
with this bird, which^ as soon as it had delivered this account, died of the wounds it 
liad received in fighting with Ravunu. Hamu, and his brother, now went forward ia 
pursuit of Rariini], and met with the giant Kubiindhu, whom they destroyed. This 
|;iant immediately assumed another body, and informed Rama that he had formerly 
lived in the heaven of Indru, but had been civsed, and sent down to take the body 
of a rakshusli. He fui-ther informed Ram 11, that two brothers (monkies), Soogreeva 
#nd Balee^ were in a state of warfiure, Balee having seduced his brother's wife ; he 
therefore advised^Rama to destroy Bale^and contract an allianoe with Soogreevq, by 
"whose means he should obtain Seeta. Rama took this advice, and having destroyed 
Balee,* restored Soogreevu to his kingdom. To prove his gratitude to Ramii, Soo- 
greevii collected his army of monkies, and sent them to seek fi>r Seeta. The monkies 
who went southward met Snmpatee, a vulture without wings, brother to JotQyoo, who 
inibrmed them that he had seen Seeta at Lunka^ Ceylon). Hiinooman, one of Soo- 
greevQ*s genersds, immediate^ limped across thesea, (five huiidred miles,)^ toLon* 
' ka, where he found Seeta in a garden belonging'to Ravorni ; and to whom he gave a 
ring from Ramn, and she, in return, sent Rarau ' & jewel from her hair. H iinooman 
* then began'to de^roy one of Ravuiiu's gardens ; who sent people to kiUHHunoomaOf 
but he destroyed those who were sent. Raviinu then sent his son Ukshny 5 -against 

• RamO, compBred with Krhhaik^ift m pnre character j yet we see him here, without provocation, destroy 
the rightful heir to a throne, ^lad tet up one w1m> had seduced the wife of his brother. 

f No one can doubt the propriety of making a spy ofamonkey who caaleap Wmilcftal oaee. 


flie mischievoiiB monfcej; but he also was destroyed. Ravunu next sent his eldest 
son Indrnjit, who seiaed Hanooman, aiid bringing him before his father, the king or- 
dered his attendants to set fire to his tail; when the enraged monkey, with his burn* 
ing tail| leaped from house to house, and set all Lnnka on fire ; after finishing which 
he oame to Seeta^ and complained that he could not extinguish the fire that had kind- 
led on his tail ; she directed him to spit upon it, and he, raising it to his face for this 
liurpoeey id his fiice on fire. He then complained, that m hen he arrived at home 
with such a Uack fiice, all the monkeys would laugh at him. Seeta, to comfi>rt him^ 
ttsmred him, that all the other monkeys should have black faces also ; and when Ha- 
nooman came amongst his friends, he found that, according to the promise of Secta^ 
they had all Mack faces as well as himself. After hearing the account brought by TInnoo* 
man, ftamfi and Lokshmnnn, with SoogrSvu, and his army of monkey :$, proceeded to 
invade Lanka. They tore up the mountains, trees, and other large substances^ 

and cast them into the sea to form a bridge,* which, however, Havana was constant- 
ly employed in breaking down. YibhSahiino, Ravunu's brother, perceiving that 
Ramu would make good his landing, recommended that SeBta should be given up ; but 
his brc»ther, unable to bear this advice, quarrelled with Y ibhSshona, who came over 
to RamO| and advised him to throw into the sea a temple and image of Shiva, assur* 
ing him^ that as Ravano was a worshipper of Shiva, he would not destroy the tem- 
ple and image of his god. Rama followed this advice, soon made good his landing, 
and began the .war with Ravunu. After many giants had been killed, Koombhakunia^ 
amoBstrouagiant, %¥Xi cnbita-high, and 1,600 thick, brother to Havana, engaged 
Ram& and the monkeys. He began the combat by seizing and devouring his ene* 
mies. Some of tlMai| as soon as th^ entered his mouth, came out at his nostrfls and 

• Ramtt.*8 bndge. See Sbe nap of HindMiC'liaB, Ramfi was mt a iMi how to lead Usatny acroas thesea to 
L&nka. He faiCed, aa^prajed to Sagftrttfor (lifce dayif and was aofry with the god for not appearing to hfaa. He 
therefbne ordered LtUuhnfiaft to Are an arrow , and carry away the god*t ambrella. He did •#, and the arrow 
carrying away theiunbrella,peaetratodevea at fiu* as palalA. Thegod,araaMdfhMnhii>leep,t»claiBed<-^''Is 
BamftarriTed by«he «ea tide, aad I havenoikaownitl" He theo direetod Ramil to apply to king Nmtt,to 
irhom hehad girenable»iag,that whaterer he threw into (he lea dioaM beeome buoyant. At the command or 
VUfSif the monkeys tore ap the aoighboaring amaatains^ and cast them into the sea. Hilnooman brought thre^ 
laoaataiasoahishead at once, each 64mlletia ehrcamfereneei aadone on each shoolder, equally large; togMet 
vithoae under each arm i one in each paw, aad one oa his taU« AU these maaslidai being thrown into the ledi 
ISil hecaaUag ba^ant, a complete bridge was tonned. 



170 HISTORY, LITERATURE, ANa RELIGION, [Fart in. Obat. t^ 

«ars, and escaped. The terrified monkeys fled, but Ramu wiCh his arrows first eult 
mS his arms, then bis leg^. Still ha^ waddled round, and endeavoured to devour alL 
within his reach, till Ramil gave' him a mortri wound fn'thenedc. Next afterKoom**' 
bhQkiirnu, lodrdjit engaged in the contest. He seifled-'Rarau; aiid, bj- the power •oP 
•euohantment, carried him down to patala ; whei*6 Hunooman went in'search of Un, 
and, while* MiihS-i^aviinij was tbere instructing Indrujit how to prostrate himself 
before an image of the goddess. Bhudrii-kalee;' Hunooman eut oflFhi&head, and re*** 
, cued Ramo. ^ At length Ravunii .himself entered the combat ; -• but .^fter many coa-«r 
^flkts, finding himself very, weak, be resolved to restore Seita, and^ end toic 
the war; to this Ramti consented ; but while Ravunu was on the point of bringim^ 
^eeta^ he thought -within himself, ^^ If lilo^his, every one will charge me with cow*- 
ardiee: shall I, a -giant, refuse to fight ?'* Tho combat was aigatn' renewed, audi 
Ravfinu was slain.* RamiL then. obtained his wife;, but-as a' trial qf her innocenoei 
.while in the hands o£-Ravunu, be compelled her to pass^hrougb a fiery ordeal, whidh 
she did unhurt. Hetben^retumed to Uyedfaya*, and mounted the^rone. After thisy 
iMwever^.some person objected to Rhmn, that it was not 'proper for him to receive- 
Seeta, after she had been in keeping of a giant. He therefore sent her into the 
^rest to Yalmeekee,:the ivriteroCtbe RAmayonu, where she was -deliYered of twor 

• Thie engagement betwijct Rami! and Havl&nii las'ed seven days ; Ramti cat off the te.i heads of "RaT^SnB a 
liOBiired times, Jlat they were Always niracaloudy restored. Rbb& th^n dischArgedaa aivow wUch hat the** 
properties, that if it went into the air, it became 1000 ; if it entered the body of an enemy, it became an innume- 
rable multitndU^ R&viin6, attKfc^ght ofthis arrow was flUedwith fe&r, and would have fled $ but recollecting 
that Sbivft had once ^iven him a» arrow Ihat watiloirescaahim ima timeof extt^me peril,Hi»dteharged it, aa^ 
destroyed Ramii*s terrible arrow ; still however he was full of fear, for whichever way^ he (nrBcd« he saw Ramli t 
'he^ut hifrcyes, bat still be saw him in his mind. 'At length, perceiving no way of escape, he began to flatter Rar- 
mii, who was losoftened, that he declared he woald n^ver destroy RavWI. -Tkecfdl akmmti kit 1tevOA& shonldi 
be spared, excited him to reproach Rami!i, who, indignant at such conduct, let fly an arrow which, friend Ravii- 
iifi*8 body, proceeded throngb the earth-into'the regions Selow, and having there' bathed," returned in the form of 
agoosov aod again ent^Dredthe quiver lii Its originaliiHape. ^ The godk were so mnclfin fear of RhvSniS, that th'e^ 
darst not begin to rejoice till they'w^re*surehe wasdead^ in whispers, ttfeyasMed^ach other, ^* Is he dead?"— 
** Is he rcalljF dead; ?^ &c. When if was Icnown that*he was certainly dead , the gods, R4mll, thle monkeys, and' 
tiie bears, alLbegmUOkdanoe&r---— Mftndodfirc€, the'ohicf wife'of Rmv^}i,'a&drlnotheroflddr&jll, after the 
death of her husband, went tor Ramik, weeping. - Rlunt, not^towlngwbo she- was; gavalber this blessing, that 
she should never become a widow.. Finding his. mistake, (having J ost- killed 'hor hasband) hetordered Hilnoo« 
jMP coDlinually to throw wood into the fire, according to a provarb ambag tha41lBdaos, that as long as the bo-^ 
dx of^e.ha!»band is burning, a womaais notxalled « widow. To this day, therefi>te, HSaooman keeps laying 
logs on,tbe tire -, and eyery time a Hindoo puts his fingers iakii ean aad l^pusa «Ni«d| he say t, M h«n tt« boaes^ 
•f Bayi^ttu burning.. 

Qv THE GOM*--^124n£0 OF l^tiE HIN^DOOS, VOi 

IPII8, Lova and Kooaba ; the latter of whom was^ afterwards Holen by the god Pun^ 
^haaanu, when Valmeekee^ to comfort the mothei^ took ^ blade of koosho ^^rass,. and 
secretlj made a child so much like Kooshu that Saeta did A^t koow it from her .owq> 
son. In a short time, however, Ponchanunu, not being able to destroy a child of Ra« 
ma^s, Testored Kooshu, and Valmeekee catiaed the two boys to become one« BeftVe 
his death Rama perfinrmed tha saanfice of a^horse^* Seeta and her two sons, . Luvft 
and Koosho, were restoredto him' ;»but Rama wishing 8e5ta again*to pass through^ii 
fiery ordeal, she entered Ike Are^ but the goddess^ Pnit'hivee,^' (Sieta's mother), 
filled her^mouth, and received her into patela. At length* Kalu^poorooshn, tha 
angel of death, went to Rama, expressing-a^ wish ior^ secret- conference. Ranv 
promised* that while he^was present no one should *be< admitted, and placed "^Lnksh^ 
niond at thedpor t»keep ofttall^intruders, but*irhile Samfr'and Kalo'^pooroosha w^re 
closeted, Doorvasa, the sage, arrived, and demanded an interview irith Rsimn, Thin 
sage was so very passionate that every one dreaded contradicting him ; Lokshmann, 
Ijierefiu^ through fear, went in and* announced his arrivfU. 'Radid, for this offeUCe, 
reeded his brothery-who in i^paroxyam of grief drowned himself,in the sacred mem 
Suroyoo, and went to heaven. Ramn afterwards put an end to his life in the samo 
manner. Lovu and Kooshu succeeded hiai«{: 

The image of Raitfur'isrpkiQted ^een ; lie is'represented as sitting' on a throne^ 
or on Honoon^m^ the monkey, with a crown upon his head. He holds in one hadd 
a bow, in another an arrow^ and has a^bundk^of arrows slung^at hb back. 

The worAip paid*to'UAn'is of the samtf kind as that toKfishnfi; but thefortnuias 
are different. **On die ninth of the increase of the moon in €hoi(ru, on which day 
Ramu was bom, an annual festival is held, when multitudes of clay images are* 
irorshipped. The dolfi festivalalscr is observed fti honour of this god, on this day, 

J ■* 

*' this'sacrlCce was performed by maoy of the ancient Hindoq^princes, and was considered as higbly meri-* 
tenons. ' 

■f Hie earth personified. 

t There are a few sentences in Ibis history, which are not to be found in VaUneekee^itoianytatt ; %at tity ' 
■la^ be.seen ialbe Benf^lMtnuMla^n. 

173 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part hi. Cjia», !• 

which ia abo kept as a hat ; when Raino's three brothers, Bhurfitu, LokshmuRll^ and 
ShoEtroghno are worshipped, but the images of the irst and last are neter made. Aii 
0ther festivals also a few ceremonies in honour of Ramo are performed. 

The birth of Rama forms the seventh of the Hindoo incarnations. Ob the birth* 
day of this god* the Hindoo merchants in general, begin their new year's aocomits» 
At the tifne of death, many Hindoos write the name of Ramtt on the breast and fore* 
head of the dying person, with earth taken from the banks of the Ganges; and hence 
these persons after death, instead of being dragged to Yoroa to be judged, immedi^ 
ately ascend to heaven. Many of the disciples of Rama become Ramahoots, a A^^ 
of mendicants who impress on diflferent parts of their bodies Ramtf s name, Imd diq 
figure of his foot. The mark on the forehead of Ramo's followers very much re* 
eembles a tridenti 

Temples containing the images of Rama, LakshmunS, Seeta, and Hunoomanare 
mrected in many parts of Bengal; and the worship of Rama performed in them daily. 



THIS is the emage of an almost naked mendtcant^. painted yellow. Some of the 
Hindoos believe, that amongst all the Hindoo incarnations there are four principal 
ones. The first, in the sotyu yooga, caUed the Shooklu-yomnt imamation, was that 
of Unonto; that in the trcta, the rokta-vumo,|| was the incarnation of KopUu-dlvn j 
that in the dwapura yooga, the ^rishnu-vama ;§ and the last, in the koleeyoogu, qd- 
led peeta-vamu,* that of Choitunyu. 

8Ud to have rained gold. - - 

t ITie wise. J The white. | tbt blood coloured* ( The Mack. • The ycUoir. 

Op vu 6o»B.--CaoiVi!i^5.} OF THE HINDOOS. 173 

AecordiBg to tke disctples of ChditaojQ, Ae fiumder of this eeet, dhroitfl) a y<»« 
ttii faramhon, lived at Slianti^fiooni about 400 years ago. ^itjanondia, another 
losdeti was bom it Nodfi^^ a little befiure CbiHtunju. His fisher was a rarhSeyo 
Vr^hun* ChottciiT&'s ftther^ Jagunnat'ha Mishro^ a voidikii brambon, lived at 
NodSja; his wife's name was Shochee ; their first son^ Yishwunbhiira, embraced 
the profession of adondeS. The mother was advanced in years when Choitonya was 
barn; the child continued three days without taking the breast^ and the parents, not 
thinking it would live^ putting it into a basket^, hung it on a tree near the house.* 
M ihh time Udwmtn befeve^neationedy.whp had heard of this birth, having some sus- 
picions that it might be the-inosmation he had expected and foretold, visited the pa* 
rents, and learning from themother that she hadnot received the initiating incantalioD 
of Huree,.he wrote with his great toe this incantation on the soft earth : << Huree^ 
Krishnfi; Hikee^Kiisfann; Knshnfi, Krishna, H«ree^ Hfiree; Horee, Ramtt, HOi-ee^ 
Bamdi Ramti, Ramil, Huree^ Huree.^' After the- motlmr had received this incanta* 
tioU} the dhild was taken doim> and immediately b^ draw the bre«st« 


Choitanyu made agr^lt progress^in learning; at sixteen he mamed Vishnoo-priya^. 
and continued in a secuUir state till forty-four, when he was persuaded by Udwoiti 
and other dundees then at his house^ to renounce hispoita, and become a mendicant i 
upafk which, forsaking his mother and wife, he went to Benares : his femily was reduc* 
ed to great distress mdeed ; and it was thought a crime that a person upon whom : 
such a femily depended should embrace a life of mendicity. 

From this period Choitonya began to form a new sect, giving to all his followers 
the preceding initiatory incantation, and continuing to call them voishnovus. He 
ejthorted them to renounce a secular life } to visit the different holy places on pilgri« 

* Then-are ktUl naaj itntancai 9f efaildreii l»eiiig>zpoted. If a cJuld appear unlilueiy to live, thp pareaU 
eeinaU an aattologer, who, perhaps, ^ves bntsmaU hopes of (he child's recovery. Voiragees a«d tiher mciidi- 
eanfs, who make a merit of pooMssiiii^ do worldly attachments, sometimes haug up a child in a pot in a tree, or, 
patting it in a pot, let it float down the river. Persons of other casts may do it, but thcfC thh most freqaently. 
Mr. Carey*s Jonrnal, datedf in Jaly, 1794, contains the foUowiog paragraph : «* One day a& Mr. Thomas and I 
were riding out, we Faw a basket hung in a tree, in which an infant had been exposed ; the iIluII remained, but 
Ike rest bad been devoured by ants^*' See Baptist Mimon A ccouats, vol. 1, page 183. Tim pracUse ia naw 
prahftMlcihiy the iloa. Cmnpiiy *l Cfcyerninest, is a tegahuiaa aaidc for thaipnrpott* 

m HISTORY, LJTEIlATURf:, ain>*JiMG10N, IPxax fti. Oh^ip.ii^ 

mage ; to eat with alltsastsrwlio vkould receive tbe preceding' incantation ; toTepeat 
the name of Vishnoo^ using the beed«>roU made^with the dtalk-ofhaail. lie finrthep 
taught that widows mighi many; but forbad the eatingt>f fish or flesh, and the wor^ 
ship of the deities to whoro.blo^ysaei'ifibces are oflRM*ed,as» well as all commuaion wilh 
those who make these sacrifioea^ 

He went to Jtigmmat'hu-ksh^tru in Orissa, and there^ aft a nm i ag six arms^recaiT^ 
toAny honoure. He exherted Udwoita and Nityanondu to laboar in ^making proae^^ 
lytes ; but directed Nityanundu to enter into a -secular state ^^ he 'd)d«o, and took up 
his residence atiKbnrdc near Csdcutta. ChoitunyH^wrote to liistwo principal dis« 
ciples from Orissa, again- exhorting them to labonr'in gaining proselytes; yet tht 
QT none joined them, andfroralBifl'time' Ch'oitiinyn himself warn nev^r^more heai4 
of- Udwoitu^and ^^ityanunda raised fiumlie8,.<vi*hose descendanUr live at Shanttt 
pooru, Vagna-pararandiChHrdu to: this day^ where they necbeeera^ laaiiers of the 
sect, all other .Gosaeest acknowledging the descendanteofthese two fiunilfes as their 
superiors, and prostrating themselves before them* These Gosaees at present are 
men of large fortunes r^t whose houses are the images origindlly set upbjf the male 
descendant H)ftyhoitiinyu, by •Nityanoridfr, and UdwoitS. * T^rouds are almost con- 
stantly arriving at these places with ofierings r beside Svhich the Xjosaees derive a 
large revenue ^^m marriages, to superintend which they have agents distributetl 
throughout the coimtry, *ho are hllowed a si^h pdrt of the fee, a snrii'that from bdt!i 
parties amounts to about six shillings. They alsoSissblve marriages at the pleasure 
of the parties, on receiving the same fees* When a new disciple is initiated, a fee is 
also given; but the Gosaees obtain the largest sumsatfiie'deaths'df such of their Bis- 
eiples as die intestate. 'At "Calcutta nearly all the women of iH- fame profess the reli- 
gion of Choitunyu-before their death,'thal they may be entitled to sqme sort of funeral 
rites : as almost' sdl these persons die intestate, and hnvenoii relations who will^own 
them, the Gosaees obtain their effects. 

[ The anniversaries of the deaths of the onginaTfounders of jthc sect are observed as 
festivals* . 

«^PeneiYiiisUMvenioiitoa]ifieoffiieiidic4ty, <f PiUMt biaacho of <he pnar ftirfH<p. 


Op wwr gobs.— CJKweaiiyS.l Or'THE HmDaOS. ITS 

' One fifth of the wboIe^Hindoopopulatton of Bengal^.are supposed. to^be^Uow-* 
ers of Cboitimjp, and e£ the Gnesaees, tiidr. suocesBors. 

Manj of thfiie persons despise Ae* other sects of Bindcios, and are ^eat enemies 
of the bramhuns. They, refuse to eat without their necklace, as the bramhuns do 
withouttheirpoita.'Most of the mendicant followers of Yishnoohave embraced the 
tenetsof Choitonjn; but many of. the disciples of « the latter live m a secular state^- 
and some of them are possessed of large property. Persons of this "description 

fiiequently entertain a great number of voiragees at their houses/ when, as an act of 
great merit, .they prostrate the mselves before*these wanderers,- wash, and lick the 
dust of their feet, find devour their orts. ' They pay no attention to^the fisasts and- 
firsts of the Hindoo calendar e:Kcept those in honour oCKrishnu* 

The images most regarded among this sect are* those of Choituhyu and Nityanuh'* - 
do set up at Umbika, in the district of Burdwan... 

About a hundred yesors ago;'-another man rose up in Bengal^' as ihh leader of a sectj; 
H^hose dress of many c^urs is said to be so heavy that two or three people can scarce* 
}y carry it. This and^his string of beads are preserved asrelics at Ghoshparir, where 

h^ continued five years, and died at the house of Ramu-Shuruna-Pald, a shoodrQ of 
the 8ad-gopu casf, to whom-he-communrcated his supernatural powers ; and.who, af> 
terthe death of this mendicant, began to teach tlie'doctrihe of a constant incarnation^ 


and that God then dwelt in him. Hg persuaded many that he could cure the leprosy^ 
and other diseases; and preached the doctrines of Choitnnyu, imitating |)im in con- 
Arming, fbrconvenience sake, to many of iht superstilions of the Hindoos. He also 
gave a new initiating incantation to hisfoUowers,*' who, of whatever cast, ^te togc^ 
ther privately. Vast midtitudes joined this mau) both Mosolihans and Hindoos ; and 
Mtfriedfaim^resents, eatii^togetberonce' or twice a year. By this means^ from a.i 
state of deep poverty he became ricb^ and his apn now lives in affluence. 

^TbefoUov^Ql^i&a tnMslalkM»«rt]lii^MDa«aliiw: **t^i^wiem Lord;'Ogr«at Lon*; «t thy pftanire Xgo add 
retimij not % aMncnt am I wUhonitlKe, l^ui ever wklitbcc i mve, O grev tUm** 

1T6 HISTORY, LITERATURE, ai^d RELIGION, [PiCnt in, Chji;p. u 

A aumb^r of Rama-Shlirantt's disciples adhere to his son Dookda ; others IMlbw 
Shiva* Rama and some others of the old man's disciples, who pretend to have receive 
ed the power of their master to cure diseases, &c. Though part of the father^s fol- 
lowers have thus apostatized, Doolalci pretends that he has now 80,000 disciples^ 


Is the son of BrUmha, and architect of the gods ; he is painted white, has three eyes, 
holds a dub in his right hand; wears a crown, a necklace of gold, and rings on his 
^wrists. He presides over the arts, manufiictures, &c. 

The worship of this godis performed once, twice, or four times a jear, in the mdntli 
Ugrohajona, Poushu, Choitrd, or BhadiP6,by all artificers, to obtain success in busi- 
ness. The ceremonies may be performed either in the day or night, before any im« 
plements of trade : the joiners set up their mallet, chissel, saw, hatcbcft, &c as the 
representative of tins god. Weavers choose their shuttle, &c. putting them into the 

hole in the earth wherein they place their feet when they sit at work, ^he razor is 
the barber's god on this occasion. The potter, after a month's fiist, adopts and woro 
ships the wheel with which he turns his pots. Masons choose their trowel -, washermen 
take the beetle or stamper, their smoothing irons, &c. as their god ; blacksmiths wor- 
ship their hammer and bellows ; the fiirmer his plough ; spinsters their wheel* The 
shoemaker chooses his awl and knife, and bows down to them.; and thus, amongst all 
the artificers, each one chooses the principal tool or instrument with whidi he woirfcS) 
and makes it a god, or the representative of Yishwaokorma.i' The oeremouies are 

 Viflliwtt, the world ; kttmtt, work. 

f lliii wonhip affords another sitnnf; proof of the low and iordid natnre of idolatry, and strikingly illnstratei 

the words of oar Lord, ** after all these things do the gentiles seek." Instead of raiting their minds to the Great 

Soarce of all good, these persons are taught to worship the toob belonging to flielr trades, as the cause of their 

temporal happiness. This conduct seems to be reprofedln the ffrrt chapter of the book of Habakkuk, '* They 

sacrifice unto their net, and barn inceose unto their drug ; because by them their portioa h flU, ami their meal 


t)r TKzeow.—Kamu-dipa.'} OF THE HINDOOS. 177 

•not long J but according to their tbUitj the wenhippen provide «« good « feaa^w ' 
possiUe. At the dose of the festival, the crowd form themselves into parties ^f plea- 
sure ; some go opOB the river ift beats, singing songs, and playing. <m difecent in*! 
-ftnuNBte ofmambi others tlit in companies, smoke, andrdate then^ivb'Of fhevil*- 
lage^ athoB qftnd their time in gaming, and some resort ttr houses of ill fimw. 


Hiong^ the atttemf^ MAsider this god, who may be called the Indian Vulcan, as 
the inventor of nH the mechanic arts, the shilpfi shastros, a part of the original v6d(fi, 
are store ptoperly Considered ad their source. These works are not now read in ' 
Beng^, irthey rtally exist s tLcy deacribe, it is said, the proper shape and diinensiony 
•fuMtlM^wrious images 4>fth^ Bindoo gods. 


JCam&'dtvUf the Indian Ciiptd.^ 

TBlSr image of this god) the son of Brumha, is that of a beautiful youth, holding 
in his hands a bow and arrow of flowers. He is always supposed to be accompanied 
by his wife Ratee,+ by sprmg personified, the cuckoo, the humming bee, and gentle' 
breezes ; and is represented as \vandering through the three worlds. 

The image of Kamii-devij is neter made in Bengal, but oti the 13th of the increase ' 
of the moon in Choitra, an annual festival is held, when the ceremonies of worship 
are performed before the shalgramu. At the time of marriage, and when a wife learea 
her AtherVhonse to go. to her huflband for the first tinier petitions are addressed to 
this god for children, and for happiness in the marriage state* 

* Kamtt, detire) d£tfi, ptd* 

f Fkom Rfimtt, to play; or to i;if e pleasttre. tt is nid tkat the fod oflOTC fomid AUtee io (be hmue of Shte* 
bfirtt, a giant wham he destroyed* W 

m HISTORY, LITERATURE, A»i>RE£IGIONi [Chap.i. Part in^ 

The poorann and kavyn shastrns abound with stories respecting Kamo-d^vti, oner 
of which I hare give from the Kaliko poorana : The god of love, the most beautiful crea« 
ture in the three worlds, with whom eveiy one was pleased, immediately after his cre^ 

ation solicitecl the commands of Brnmha, who assured him, that, with his five arrows; 
he should wound with lov-e the hearts of the inhabitants of the three workk; that all 
beings should be subject to his swaj, not excepting even Bromha, Vishnoo, and Shivu; 
and that thcough him theunivers&shouldbepeopled** Kiindorpu first discharged histur* 
row at Briindia himself, who became enapioured of his own daughter, JSundhja* Mti-* 
riechee^ and the other sons of Brumha, also smitten by his arrows,^ were inflamed with 
unlawliil desires toward their sister. ShivTi said to Brnmha — ^^ What ! art thou infla« 
med with lust towards thy own daughter, I!' Brnmha was covered with, shame, and^ 
from the perspiration which issued from his body, Ugnishwiita and other progenitors of 
mankind,* to theniunber of 1 19,G00, were born. Brtimha, Ml of rage against Kan* 
darpU) cursed him^ and declared that he should be burnt to ashes by the fire from the- 
eye of Shiva, but on hisintercessions^ promised} that wlien Shivii^hould be married: 
to Do<Mrga, he would restore to him his body.. 

Names. Miidunn, or, he who intoxicates with love; Man-mut'hn, he who agitates^^ 
themind; Maru, he who wounds with love; Prudyoomnu, he who overcomes all; 
Meenii-kt'tona, he whose flag is a fish; Kundiirpa, he who bloats the mind with de-. 
sire; Unungu, he who is destitute of body ; Kamn, the creator of desire ; Punchu-. 
shurii, he who has five arrows ; Smuraj.he who inflames; Shumb&raree, the enemy oC 
the giant Shumburu; Munusija, he who is bom in the heart; Koosoomlshoo, he whose 
arrows are flowers; Unonyujo, he who is born only in the mind; Pooshpu-dhonwp 
he whose bow is made of flowers ; Rutee-putee, the husband of Rutee ;. Miikiirii-dhwu* 
ju, he whose &ig is the animal Makara; Atmabhoo, he who is self -created. 

•^;^ii pcrfomilig the ccrcmoay ctUcd tfirpto«> mvw OMU»are iittd in fionciiis;<Hi(driii]Miflrcriji£S to^ltbtfo 

Or TKB ooM.^SUyi'NaraySn&.^ OF THE HINDOOS. in 



THIS 18 a form of Vishnoo ; but the image is never made : a pan of water is the 

This god is worshipped seyeral times in the year, in the houses of the richer Hin*'^ 
doos, when all the bramhlins in the village are invited. The object of worships 
painted red, and covered with leaves of the mangoe tree^ is placed near a square 
board, at the four comers of which four arrows are set up, and from which garlands 

of flowers are suspended ; a piece of clean Unen is laid on the board, and then the 
ofTerings of flowers and sweetmeats. At Ae close of the festival, scmie one present 
reads difierent marvellous stories in praise of this god. The sweetmeats are given 
to the guests, especially to the'bramhuns: the acquisition of riches, recovery from 
sickness, the birth iof children, the obtaining of any of the blessings, or the removing 
^ny of the miseries, ^flife^ are objects sought in the worship of this god. 

THE preceding account of the terrestrial gods contains the names ofaU the principal 
deities of this description worshipped in Bengal. I am amare^ however^ that ZDorship is 
paid Yd ^oiiie idols not mentioned here; but these are only different forms of the deities 
whose Ust&ry is gjnen:; and the worship is merely an appendage to the ceremonies at the 
great festroals. 


IN HISTORY, UTERATOftE, m^u E£llCilQN, [Paat *u. Coaip. i. 

Terrestrial Goddesses. 

THJS is the image of a yellow woman, covered with jewels : it always accompa- 
nies and is worshipped with that ^her. hu8}nuul» 

Seeta was the daughter of king Joniiku,? whose capitd was Mit^hila. Her history, 
after her marriage with Eamu, will be fbimd in the account of that god.t 


BADHA was the wil^ of Ayuiiu-gbosliu, a cowherd of Gokoolu, where Krishna 
in his youth resided: through Yiirace^.a procuress,, he seduced Radha, and led her 
into the forest near the river Ynmoona, where they continued till Krishnu left her 
to begin the war with Kungsu. 

This mistress of Krishnu has been deified with her paramour. Her image is set up 
in temples with different orms of Krishnu, and worshipped at the festivals of this god. 
The act of looking upon these images together, is declared by the rfia»trfis to be an 
act of peculiar merit ! 

P ShiyO gave to JdAQkl!L a bo^ bo he&vy*tliat a thousajid men could not lift it, and which the fkther placed 
in a separate room, and commanded Seeta to sweep the room daily ; in doing which she ased to lift up the bow 
with her left hand, end sweep under it wifk her rigjbt. One day the king saw her thni JBftve the bow» a«i , lfcU«l 
with astonishment, was at aloss to whom he should give this daughter in marriage. After som^ time, he came to 
Ihis resolution^ that whoever should be able to brealiLthis b^w, should obtain S8eta.-------[/<IA^utmu-itofM3rumi.* 

f While Seeta was detained at Lfinkashe was fed with ambrosia for twelve months by Indrfi, as she would not 
cat in the house of a giant. That Ravi^nfl could not destroy her virtue is thus accounted for by the pooranSss 

This giant had l>efore seized the wives of the gods, and dishonoured them ; and one day he dishonoured his neice, 
the wife of l^ing N&lt^, for which crime Koov^Hi cursed him, and caused fire to proceed from the his te« heads at 
once. By the entreaty of Briimha , this curse was mitigated ; with the proviso, however, that if he ever defiied 
the wife of another, St should be renewed in full force.— iftuf. 

*BB aoBDBME*^— Aw^mnSE.] O-F THE HITIDOOSt. ]81l 

If a Hindoo be charged with any particular act of which he wishes to. express his 
abhorrence^ he exclaims, ^^ RadIm*Kridmn !'* If anj persons repeat <^ Rama ! Ramu I 
Kama !" on such occasions^ but no one says Seeta-Rama; yet when Krishno's name 
i& to be repeated thegr alwiya jontioit that of his inistrew RaAa.*v 

One of the Hindoo learned men has written a work Xthe-Radha-ttintro) to prore 
that Radha was an incarnation of BhugavateSi and this opinion is quoted by the fiin^ 
doos of the present day to cover this abominable transaction.. . 

8£cnoN LXli» 

Sookminec and Sutj/uhhama^ . 

THESE are the most distinguished wives of Krishnu^ but^theiv images €u« never: 
made^ Krishna being always associated with Radha his mistress^and not with his law* 
fbl wives. At the festivals of Krishna, however, these women are worshipped, as well ^ 

as six other wives of this god, viz Jambubiitee, Mitrovinda, LogunajitSe, Luksh* 


muna, Kalindee^ . and Bhiidra ; but R^okminee and Sutyobhama are the most distin<^ 
guisbed. . 

iBEonoN ixnf « 


.:TI|IS sister of Jttgonnat'hi is worshipped at the same time with her brother, and 
1 placed with him in the temples dedicated to his honour* 

fiSg mSTOtpT; LITJJUATURE, ahoUBUQIONs {Paa« w. Chaf.vJ 


Deitks worshipped by,theJou>er ftrdan wSbf. 

"IS aform of Sbivti : the image has five &ces, and in each fiice three eyes. Some 
persons make a clay image, and worship it with the usual formSj adding bloody sacri- 

fioes ; while others jworship Panchannnu before a stone placed underneath the jrutu,t 
Qshwat'ht'hu,:]: or Jkoolil,^ trees. 7his stone is pjdnted red at the top, and anointed 
with oil. II .Offerings of flowers, fi'uits, water, sweetmeats, and fried peas, accompany 
the worship, and sometimes bloody sacrifices. Jn alino^.»every village this worship 
is performed beneath some one oT these trees. In some villages several of these 
shapeless stones* ^re^to be s^a thus anointed, ^nd consecrated to the worship of JJiM 
god. Jn other places the clay^imagespfPanchanunii are placed in bouses or under 

trees, and old women called djasinqest devote, themselves to his service : they sweep 
the inside of the clay temple, and repeat the ccrenxonies of worship (or others, con- 
stantly remaining near tlie. image; and receiving all offerings and presents. Not more 
than one woman waits upon one idol, unless she admit a pupil, who expects to sue* 
^eed her. These ivomen^ ^ith^r .married or widows, are treated almost as witches* 

« There is no appointed time for^be. worship /i^ this god, but Tuasdajs or Satur* 
days are preferred to other days. 

There are some places in Bengal where images of Ponchanunu are in great ci3e« 
,brity for be$toiving the blessing of children, and other Avpurs on the worshipper^* 

* The five faced. f FicsslBdica, :t«FlctisreUsios«. S SIzyphmjajvlMi. ' 

Tlie statue of the f^d Terminus was either a sqaare stone, or a log of wood, which the Romans nsaally per- 
/umed with ointments and <:rowned with garlands. 

« The representative of the goddess Passinnntia was a^sfaapeless stone, tte Anbiaw are said t» Imtc W9^ 
pipped a stone without the form or shape of a deity. 

& 'It'is probable that these dyasinees resemble (he priestessei of Cybele. 

(ipra^'Goi^^,-^PiichhnSnii,j- OP THE HINDOOS; iss 

The Hind<ioiromeii are terrified at this god, and are exceedingly afraid lest their 
chadren should, in pkj, injure the stone under ^Oie tree.* Some therefore warn 
their children against going near these stones, by declaring that Punchaaonu wiU as- 
aoredlj kill them>if thej touch or play with his image,.' 

CaifldTOT inlhs ofepihspgy are sopposed to b^ seiaibd by tlii^ g6d;'and thrown ihta 
a^ate of frenzy, till they foam at the mouth, tear their hair, &c/ The mbther ask^ 
thesupposed erd spirit hi» naAie, who answers, through the cMd, " I am Pttncfha-^ 
nnnu : your diUd ha« cast dust on mjr imager kicked itj and is therfnglead<»r of al* 
the chUdren of the viUage in this wickedness. I wiU certainly take away his Ufe.'' 
TliWyasin«isnowcaHed,whoc«iifortsthe-wfeepinyanaalar^ and id- 

dresses tiie ijod thus, « O Ponchanuno t I pray thee restore this child : these are thy^ 
worshippeiiB'j tlie off^der ifi^buta child; and itis not proper for thee to-be angry^ 
with such paltry oflTenders.' If thou restore the*child, the parents will sacrifice 

a goat to tBee, and 'present td theelilaiiy oflbrings." If this* should^iil to^render the*' 
god propitious, they take the child tA the inAge, hefiwre which they.vsit down, ani 
offer the mbst excessive flaitteiy to the god, causing the child to beat its head on th^ 
ground; After using every contrivancei they retire, and, at the dose of the fit, be-^ 
lieving that Panbhtoiinii has curedihe-child^-they preaenilohim offerings accordbg, 

• Tlielate Ji$s!iDiiat*htt-TSrkk{l-FSBcIiaBfiolS, wbo died in t&e year 1807, tftthe^vaiictda^of 112, and trh(» 
was wkppoatd to be the most learned Hindoo in Bengal, oBed to relate tlie foUowing anecdote of himself': Till he 
was twenty years oM, he wasexeeedingly iingoTeniable,and refosed Co apply tohisstudies. One day bb parents re* 
boMd him ver^iharply 3R»» hb oondnir, «nd h» waadered to a neigbbonring ▼illaf|;es where he hid himself in4he 
Tttti&tree, vnder which was a very celebrated image' of PdnchaniSnS. While in this it^^ he discharged his urine ott 
Ihe god, and afterwards descended and threw him into a neighbomlng' pond. Hie nett momin|g,^hen (he per-*' 
son arrived wlioae tivelilKMid depended on this image, he discovered that bis god was gone ! ! He returned into 
tii^rvUIage diftncted, and the viUage was. very joon all in an uproar about the lost god. In the midst of this con- 
fusion, the parents of JfigSnnat'hS-T&rkkS-PfinchantfnIS anfved to dearcb for thefr sorff when'u man in tb6 crowd 
detl&red that he bad seen a yoang -man slttingiin Pikndfanfiiril^'s tree, bat what was become of the god he could not . 
say.  The rnn-away at length appeared, and the suspicions of all the villagen fell upon him, as the stealer of PCn* 
chaahnb. After some time he confessed the fact, points out th^^p^a^e WHerehe bbd thiown fte storie, and addM 
moreover thAt he had discharged bis urln^^a the godir AWiandswerelifSted up in amaaameat at this atrocious 
crioM, and every one present pronounced- his death as certain $ for PdnchanfinS would certainly revenge such 
a daring Insnlt. Our young hero was himself terribly affrighted, and from that hour sat down sd sednloudy to his 
■tadies, that be became the most teamed maa in Bengal. He -wa» employed -by thcr'goveinnicnt in India for.- ' 

waaj yijBan, a^ft salary, of 30Q roopees per.ttombyand wed. t9 give advice oa the rabject of the Hindoo law in aU^ 
dificttlt cases. 

184 HISTORY, LITEIUTURE, and RELIGION, . [Rart in- CiMF.ef. 


DAurmu ThakoarS. 

^i\t o 

. ANOTHER form of Sbivd. A black stone of any sliape becomite tImrefirM 
<'Of tbis god. The worshippers paint the part designated as the forehead, and place 
/^ it under >a tree ; others place the stone in the house, and give it sAver eyes, andaaoilU* 
. it with oil, and wordiipit. Almost every village has one of these idols* 

• A festival in henevr of thk god is ofaeerved by some of the lovrer ordors in>¥eishaki^ 
> in the day. The ceremonies are like those at the swinging festival, vrifh the additioii 
i^bloody sacrifices) the greater number of which are goats. At this tinw devoteea 
siring on hooka; perforate their sides^with cords ; pierce their tongues -with spits.; 
walk upon fire, and take it up in tkeir hands ; walk upon thorns ; and throw them« ^ 
selves upon spikes, keepk^a sMere fosL The people who assemble to see these , 

feats of self-torture, are enlerfiained «wttli ^iagii^ mvsic, and dancing. On the Mtk 
day, a great feast is bdld, whefi |ieople bring* their offiH^ings, and, giving tiiem to the . 
officiating bramhnn, request hint te pr e oe ol them toihe idol, to fulfil a vow, or with 
petitions to the god for some particular fiivour, oa the birth of a child, recovery IroD^* 
eicknesB^ orany other blessing. 


Wherever this idol rs placed in a bouse^ a wtmian' called a dyasinee attends iipeH * 
it, and repeats the daily ceremonies^ 

At two villages in Bengal, Toosooree and Rayii-kalcc, the worship of ibis god is 
constantly attended by crowds from a great disttoec. If a weman's eldest child die^ 
she makes a vow before witnesses, that she will not cut her hair for two yearsj and ; 
that then, going to one of these villages, she wiU eal it off^ and present an offering 
to the god, provided he will preserve her ^econd child. Some women, as an ac- 
knowledgment of a favour, or tobega blessing, take a young child in their ai-ms^ and 
putting on wet clothes, place an earthen pot full of burning coals upon some cloth 

Of tHB GODS.^JC^j^-ntyft.] OFTHEHINDOOS. 185 

on their heads^ and sitting before the god in a supplicating posture, continue for some 
time offering incense throwing Indian pitch into the pan of coals. 

A poor man sometimes places th^ black stone, adorned with garlands, &c. in a bas- 
iMy and the ^iferings which b^ eoUeets at the doors of housekeepers in another, tad, 
iym^ the baskets to a bamboo which he lajs on big shoulder, carrier th* god Scorn 
door to door, as a shew, while another plajs on a rude instrumeni of mmic, and joins 
in singing the praises of Dhannu-t'hakooru. Householders give a handful of rice^ 
iad the beggem present in return a iower wUeb has been dfered to the god« 


THIS is another form of Shivu : the image is that of a yellow man sitting on a 
tfger, holding in his right hand an arrow, and in his left a bow. 

A few of the lower orders set up clay images of this god in straw houses, and 
worship them at pleasure. The wood-cutters in the Eastern, Western and Southern 
forests of Bengal, in order t» t^a>^mm fPt^MUhtr firma wild beasts, adopt a peculiar 
mode of worshipping this idol. The head-boatman raises elevations of earth 
Airee or ibur indiǤ high, m4 about Ared feef dquare ; upon which he places balls 
of claj, pBiatdd red, and among^ dllier eeraiMMe, offers rice, flowers, fruits, and 
the walef of Ae Gangdi^ carrM ft^itt th^ river Hooglee, kee^ng a ftst : the g^ 
liMi dimeter kin iir a dreani where ky cut weibd free friMdhngisr. Tbef^id no M- 
Aoritf f(ir flad' worship in tho cAaslrtte* 

])H»MAiKr«)« itf Another god wtmhipped in Oe mne MSHier, and bj tl» a^iM 

186 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Pabt hi. Chap. il 



A naked Shivu, smeared with ashes ; having three eyes, riding on a dog^ and hom- 
ing in one hand a horn, and in the other a drum. In several places in Bengal this 
image is wcnrshipped daily* 

Shivn, under this name, is the regent of KasheS (BenaresO AU persons dying at 
Benares are intitled to a place in Shi vo's heaven ; but if any one violate the laws of 
the shastru during his residence there, Kalu-Bhoirovo at death grinds him betwixt 
two mill-stones* 


Worship io cure the Itch and Scurvy. 

THE goddess Sheetala is worshipped by the Hindoo females whenever their fa# 
milies are afflicted with the itch ; and the god Ghi^too (a black boiling pot) is wor* 
shipped to remove the scurvy or any kind of blotches on the skin. 

In the preceding sections of this zDork^ the god Prifhixle^ regent of the earthy shouU 
have been noticed; he has no separate worship^ bid certain formulas are repeated in his 

name at all the great festivals. Vishnoo is revered as the Hovshold god; he is 

worshipped when a person enters a new house^ or at any other time to procure the remaro^ 

al of family misfortunes. Doorga should have been mefdioned also as the ViZr 

LAGE GODDESS : shc is Worshipped by the villagers in the month Asharh&y before a jar of 
water ^ when bloody sacrifices are offered. An ahnufll festival is also held in each village 
in Asharhu^ in honour of Vishnoo^ IndrSy Koovir&y and L&kshmee, when the persons 
pay the first instalment of their rents. The land-owner is at the expence. 

OFmQoi>9.^Vrdhu'nareeshwur&.'] OFTHEHINDOOS. tsi 


Worship of beings in strange shapes. 


HERE Shiva and Dooi^ are united in one body, white and yellow. The origin 
of this image is thus given in the Lingu pooranii : Shiva and Doorga, after their 
marriage, lived on mount Koilaaa, where Doorga kept the house, cooked, and nurs-' 
ed her two children, Guneshn and Kartiku ; and Shiva supported tiie fiunily as a men- 
dicant. On a certain occasion, Shiva having one day smoked intoxicating herbs 
to excess, was unable to go liis daily rounds* Doorga informed him that there was nor- 
thing in the house ; that the family had eaten half of what was collected the day be^ 
fore, and that Gunesha's rat and Kartiku's pcacockt had devoured the rest. After 
much altercation, Shivu left his hut, and Doorga, to avoid perishing for want, went 
io her fiither's, taking her children with her. On the way, Narudil met her, and advis- 
ed her to assume the form of the goddess Uana.pi5oma,t and hiy an embargo on all 
the food where Shivci would ask for alms. She did so ; and Shivu begged in vain for 
a handful of rice. Narudu at length meeting Shivu also, persuaded him to return to 
his wife : Doorga received him with joy, and relieved his hunger, which so pleased 
the old mendicant, that in pressing her in his arms both bodies became one. 

In the Badha-tuntrn it is said, that Shivu andDoorga assumed this form in order 
to prove that Shiva is the one Brumhu, in whom both the male and female powers 
are united. 

In one of the smaller Hindoo poems, a different account of the origin of this image 
is given : Shiva finding it veiy difficult to procure a subsistence by the alms which 

• UrdW, half joarcc, woman i c&hwflrf, a name of Shi>8. f GSiifshfi ridesonarat, aad KartiW oa a peacock. 

t One of the forms of Doorga, as the regent of food. 



199 HISTORY, WTJBRATUHE, ^npHEMQION, [Part in, Chaf. u 

he daily collected, especially as Doorga had ten mouths, and Gun^shu a very large 
belly, agreed with his wife, that they should assume one body, which would be sup- 
ported with less labour* 

Notwithstanding this apparently dose union of Shivii and Doorga, the Shivopa- 
khyano, a poem, contains a story in which Doorga is represented as quarrelling with 
ShivQ in a fit of jealousy, on account of his begging in that part of Shivu-poora* where 

the women of iU*&me live : On another occasion, as related in the Ramaynnn, a dread- 
liil quarrel took place betwixt Shivii and Doorga, because Purasheo-ramn had beaten 
Kartika and Gun6sho, the two sons of Doorga. Another account of these quarrek 
k given both in the Bamayquu and the Mahabharatu : Rama's efforts to destroy Ra* 
v&iiu proving abortive, in oonsequeoce of the protection afforded the giant by Shivii, 
all the gods whom Ravrmu hfid pppi'essed joined Ramii in supplieatioiis to Shiva ; and 
en the seventh day, when RftyOQif wm to be skin, the gods resolved to be prepeat \ 
and Shivu was about to join them, when Doorga interfered, and asked him hew he 
eould witness th^ destruction of his own disciple : that diseiple, who had stood pvay 
ing to bin all day in the si^try weather, aun'Qiinded with four fives ; who had eon* 
tiHued bis devotions in the chilling cold standing in the water ; and bad persevered 
in his supplications, standing on his head in the midst of torrents of rain. Here she 
poured a volley of abuse upon Shivo, ^ a withered old fellow who snftoked intoxi* 
eating herbs; covered himself with ashes ; dwelt in eemeteries $ a beggar; whose 
name would never be remembered ;«^ and dost thou think^^ sftid she, ^ thttt I diaU ba 
present at such a sight!' — Shivii could no longer smother his resentment, but re- 
proached her in the severest terms, reminding lier that she was only a womaft, and 
knew qothing ; and indeed that she did |iot act Uk? % woqiM, for she was eontiQualljP 
wandering from place to place ; engaged in wars ; was a drunkard ; spent h^r timfi 
with degraded beings ; killed giants, drank their blood, and hung the skulls round her 
neck. Doorga was enraged to madness by these cutting reproaches, so that the gods 
became als^rmed, and intreated H^mu to join i^ si^ppU(^tious to Doorga, or ther^ 
would be no possibility of destroying Ravrnti. He did so, and so please(J the gadr 

* Shivu'shc4iyc9. 

Of tsb Qwn^XrUhnt-Kiaft} OFTHEHINDOOS^ 189 

<b9« bf his flatteries, tliat she was at length brought to consent to the destruction of 

At the new or full moon, or on theSth or I4th of the moon, in any month, or on 
the last day of any calendar month, in the day, the usual ceremonies of worship are 
performed before this disgusting image, which is thrown into the water the succeed** 
big day. The formulas are those used in the worship of Doorga, not of ShiTU* 

Apinnalg are slain and offered to the goddess* 


THIS scandalous image is worshipped annually at the total wane of the moon* in 
Kartikii, in the night. 

Of all the milkmaids that used (o collect around hi.m, Krishna was most charmed 
with Radha, the wife of AyQntj-ghoshn. When the attachment was first formed, the 
sister of AyunU-ghoshu saw them together^ and informed her brother of the circum- 
stance, at which Radha became very much alarmed, assured Krishnil that her sister- 
in-law had seen her with him, and that her husband would certainly destroy her. 
Krishnii commanded her not to fear, adding, if her husband came, he would assume the 
fbrm of Kalee,and she should be found in the act of worship* When her husband 
and others arrived, they found her thus employed, and joined her in her devotions. 
Could it be believed that such an abominable instance of adultery and treachery 
would be made the subject of worship, yet so it is: four images are made from this 
story, viz. Krishnu-Kalee, Radha, Ayunri-ghoshn, and Kootila, Ayunii's sister.-— 
Bloody taerifices ar« offered to this image ; but the worshippers of Krishnu are 
ashamed, when askedby the shaktiis, if Krishnii has begun to drink blood ? 


^Averjrproficf t|ai|»AirsiicIi«,wonbip. JUet neiUier ana nor mmia Aine on ludi 4cedi. 

190 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and HELIGION, [Part hkChap. f. 



HERE Vishnoo (Hui-ee) and Shivu (Hura) appear intone body; the foroter U 
black, and the latter ivhite. The image has four arms and two feet 

The origin of this image is thus recorded in the Vishnoo poorano : — Lnkshmee and 
Doorga were once sitting together, in the presence of Shivn^ when LukshmS con- 
tended that her husband (Vishnoo) was greater than Shivu ; which Doorga as finnlj 
denied. Lukshmee said, her husband must be greatest, since Sbivn had worshipped 
him. In the midst of this conversation Vishnoo arrived, and to convince Luksh- 
mee that both were equal, he immediately entered the body of Shivu, and they be« 
eame one* 

Another account of the origin of this image is given in the Kashee-khnndii, a part 
of the Skundu pooranu : On a certain occasion, when Vis^hnoo and Shivu were con- 
versing together, Shivu requested Vishnoo to assume the beautiful female form 
which he had formerly done at the churning of the sea, to which he consented; 
whenShivU, overpowered with desire, pursued the flying beauty, till, overcome with 
fetigue, she hid herself behind a tree, and re-assumed the form of Vishnoo. Shivu, ' 
however^ embraced Vishnoo with such eagerness^ that the bodies of both became 


The worship of this image takes place whenever any one pleases. Stone images 
in some places are continually preserved ; and in others a clay one is made, and wor- 
shipped, and afterwards committed to the river. 

« Hie reader need not be informed Iraw moch this ftory la id terniinaClon resembles ttiat of the nymph 8tf« 
maeis, who is said to have fallen excessively in love with a son of Mercury by his ibter Venvs. 

OFrtHBGODg.— ^rsrcc-jgrari^.] of the Hindoos. m 

Raja Krishna-chnndra-raju expended fifty or sixty thousand roopees at tlie con- 
secration of a stone imag;e of Huree-Hnrii, which may be still seen at Gunga-vasa, 
near Nudeeya» While this raja lived, fifty roopees were dailj expended in this 
worship ; yet, thou^ a number of villages have been bequeathed to the god, the ex* 
pense of the daily worship and offerings is less now than formerly. Few places 
in Bengal, however, can now boast of a temple at whidl fifty roopees are daily ex- 
pended** No bloody sacrifices are offered to this image*. 

However shocked a professedchristian may be at reading such accounts, and how- 
ever revolting to eveiy feeling of modesty and decency these stories may be, the. 

Hindoo philosophers have thought proper to perpetuate them, and in this image ta 
personify lust itself. The bramhiins also bow down to this image as to a deity 

worthy of adoration* 

 Tliis expense ii incmred in the meat ofTerings, coiisistin|^t»f rice, peas, nil, oir, ghee, butter, aui^ar, sweet- 
steals, frnite of different kinds, herbs, spices, beetle nats, &c. in the offerings of cloth, metal vessels, and other 
things, and in the wages of the bramhGns and shoodr&s employed. About ten bramhiins and fourteen shoodrBl 
coBsftantly attend on the sernce o( 

1S9 HISTORY, LIT£;RATURE, anb RELIGION, [Pam iiu Chap, h 


Worship of human beings. 

Deified Men and Women. 

ALL tlie bramhans, but especially the religious guides (gooroo), arc objects of wor- 
ship among the Hindoos, and have divine honours paid to them. The spiritual 
guide, in the estimation of the disciple, is literally a god. Whenever he approached, 
tlie disciple prostrates himself in the dust before him, and never sits in his presence 
without leave. He drinks the water with which he has washed the feief of his gd<V 
roo,^ and relies entirely upon hi» blessing fi>r final happiness. 1 have heard some 
Hindoos speak with comparative contempt of all other ways of salvation. When 
the claims of the bramhims to deity have been disputed by any one, I kvve aeen the 
poor besotted shoodro prostrate himself at the feet of the nearest bramhun,and, rais- 
ing his head, and closing his hands, say, ^ You are my god.' At the same time the 
character of the bramhun has perhaps been notorious for every vice. 

The shastras declare that the daughters of bramhnns, till they are eight years old^ 
are objects of worship, as forms of the goddess Bhngnvatee; and some persons wor- 
ship these girls daily. The worshipper taking the daughter of some neighbouring 
bramban, and placing her en a seat, performs the ceremonies of worship, in which he 
presents te her iSowers, paint, water, garlands,t incense, and, if a rich man, offer- 
ings of cloth and ornaments. He closes the whole by prostrating himself before the 
girl. At the worship of some of the female deities also, the daughters of bramhtins 
have divine honours paid to them. 

* Doin^i^ reTerence to the very feet oF superiors preTailed among the Jews. Hence the woman wa&hed the feet 
of Christ, and wiped them with the hair of her head. Paol was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel. 

•f Both the Greeks and Romans^ it is well known, used to adorn their images with garlands at the time of wonhip. 

^ _ 

Of »iKt9iBD xfiK AND woutEN.] OF TH£ HINDO OS. idg 

The wires of bramhuns are also worshipped occasionally as an act ot great merit. 
A man of property sometimes invites ten, twenty, or one hundred of these females, 
and repeating before them forms of prayer, praise, &c. worships them, and at the 
dose entertains them with the offerings. This is frequently done at Benares. 

On the 14th of the decrease of the moon in Shravond, at the time of the Savitreo 
▼rotu, the wives of bramhans very generally worship their husbands. The worship- 
per, having placed a seat for her husband, and presented him with new garments, en- 
treats him to be seated, and puts round his neck a garland of flowers. She then 
anoints his body with fragrant ointments, and performs before him the various cere- 
monies which belong to the worship of the gods. In presenting the offerings she 
says, r^arding her husband as a form of V ishnoo, ^< Oh ! husband, grant that I may 
long live in the marriage state, and never become a widow." The husband then 
partakes oPthe offerings, and the wife having walked round him either three or seven 
times, the aemee ends. The origin of this ceremony is given in the Branilia«voi« 
vurtta poorana, but the story is too long for insertion. 

' Many of the tontriis, and partieularly the RoodrB-yamolui tlie Yottee«tfintrO| and 
Ihe NSln<*tuntru, contain directions r^pecting a most extraordinary and shocking 
node of worship, which is understood in a concealed manner amongst the Hindoos 
f»y the name of Chukril. These sbastras direct that the person who wishes to perform 
this ceremony must first, in the night, choose a woman as the object of worship* If 
the person be a dukshinachare! he must take his own wife, and if a vamacharSI, the 
daughter of a dancer, a kSpalee, a washerman, a barber, a chttndalir, or of a M tt* 
eiilman, or a prostitute, and place her on a seat, or mat ; and then bring broiled fisb^ 
fleshy firied peas, rice, spirituous liquors, sweetmeats, flowers, and other offenngs ; 
which, as well as the female, must be purified by the repeating of incantations. To 
tlu9 succeeds the worship of the guardian deity ; and after this that of the female, — ' 
who sits naked. 

m HISTORY, 1>1TERATURE, and RELIGION, [Paet ui> Chap, % 

Here things too abominable to enter the ears of man^ and impossibk to be reoeakd to a 
christian public^ are contained in the directions of the shastru. The learned bram- 
hiin who opened to me these aboroinatioifs, made several efforts — ^paused and began 

again, and then paused again, before he could mention the shocking indecencies pre- 
scribed by his own shastras. 

As the object of worship is a living person, she partakes of the offerings, even of 
tFie spirituous liquors, and of the flesh, though it should be that of the cow. The re- 
fuse is eaten by the persons present,, however different their casts ; nor must any on^ 
refuse to partake of the offerings. The spirituous liquors must be drank by mea- 
sure ; and the company while eating must put food into each other's mouths, Th^ 
priest then-— in the presence of all, — behaves towards this female in a manner whicb 
decency forbids to be mentioned; after which the persons present repeat inany times 
the name of some god, performmg actions unutterably abominable ; and here this most 

diabolical business cIoses> The benefits promised to the worshippers are riches^ 

absorption in Brumhu, &c. . 

At present the persons committing these abominations (vamacfaar^s) are bcH^om^ 
ing more and more numerous; and in proportion as they increase, the ceremomesiiv^ 

more and more indecent. They are performed in secret ; but that these practices 
fure becoming very frequent among the bramhuns and others is a &ct known te alL 

Those who alude by the rules of the shastras are comparatively few ; the generality 
confine themselves chiefly to those parts that belong to gluttony, .drunkenness and 
whoredom, without acquainting themselves with all the miaute rules ^.nd incantati* 
pns of the shastrus. 

Of BBiFiED BB AST8.] O F T H E H I N D O O S. 195 


2%e Worship of beasts. 


The Cow. 


BRL'MHA created the bramhuns and the cow at the same time : the bramhfins 
to read the formulas, and the cow to afford milk, (clarified butter) for the burnt ofi 
ferings. The gods by partaking of the burnt offerings are said to enjoy exquisite 
pleasure, and men by eating clarified butter destroy their sins. The cow is called 
the mother of the gods, and is declared by Bramha to be a proper object of worship* 

The shastru appoints that the images of the gods shall be anointed with milk, curdS| 
clarified butter, cow-dung, and cows' urine, whereby they become firee from impu- 
rity ; and all unclean places are purified with cow-diuig. Indeed many bramhuns 
do not go out of the house in a morning, till the door-way has been rubbed with 

The cow was created on the first of Voishakhti, and on this day, or on the second 
of the moon in Jyoisht'hn, she is worshipped annually. No image is used, but the 
worship is performed in the cow-house before ajar of water. The ceremonies are 
the same as those before the images of the gods ; the prayers are necessarily pecu-* 
liar to the object worshipped. The ofiiciating bramhun, at the dose of the service, 
reads the whole of the Chundee, a poem relating to the wars of Doorga. On the 
]3tb of Phalgoonu, the milk-men paint the horns and hoofs of their cattle yellow, 
and bathe them in the river. Persons strict in their religion, worship the cow 

daUy : after bathing, they throw flowers at her fiset, and feed her with fresh grass, 
raying, " O Bhuguvatee ! cat 3'' and then walk round her three or seven times, mak^ 
ing obeisance. 

igfi HISTORY, LITERATURE, AH* RliLIGlON^ [Paet, hi, Chaf. t. 

If jou speak amon^ Hindoos of eating the flesh of cows, they immediateljr raise 
their hands to their ears : Yet milk-men, car-men, and ftrmers, beat the cow as un« 
mercifuUy as a carrier of coals befits his ass in England ; and many starve them to 
death in the cold weather rather than be at the expence of giving them food.^ Thus 
18 the cow at once a beast of burden and a goddess. Some of the poor think them*^ 
•dhrtts happy if they can support a cow, as by serving this animal they expect reward 
in a future state. If a man sell his cow, the shastrns threaten him with the torments 

of hdl daring as many thousand years as there ave hairs on her body. If any one 
neglect to bum cow-dung, &c. in the caw-bouse, whereby smoke is caiaed, and the 
mnsqvitoes prevented from hurting the cows, he will descend into the hell of mii8« 
quitoet and gad-flies. The gift of a cow to a bramhon is an act of great merit. 

The dung of the cow is gathered and dried as fuel amongst the Hindoos. Some 
|M>ws are of more value for their dung than for their milk^ fof the Bengal eew gites 
very little milk iudeed^ compared with the Europe cow. 


The monkey.. 

THE bladc-iaced monkey, HQnoomim,t the son ofthe god PttvonS, by Unjana, i. 
female monkey,:); is believed to be an incarnation, of Shiva. 

The Hindoos worship Hiinooman on their birth-day to obtain long life, which they 
suppose this monkey can bestow, as he is immortal. In some temples his image is set 
up alone^ and in others with that of Ramtt and SSta, and worshipped daily. The 
worship of Ramu is always preceded by a few ceremonies in honor of Hunooman^ 

• In the year 1812,abmiiihSti was coavicted befare themafiatvateof Seampare, af staaKng froAa relaiivai % 
cow in calf, and offeriufi^ this goddeu for sale to a batcher. 

i H9nooroan broke his. cheek-bone by a fell from the spa*f orbit: and his nave Is derived flroa h0noo, tha> 
eheek bone. ' ** 

I There is nothing too filthy for idolalry : liere the fod of the iriod»pays his addresses to a monkey, as Jnpiter 
if said to haje daoc ta a swaa. 


Stone laagM of Uonoomaa are kept in the hoases of some of hb diidpleS) and 

worshipped dailj^ The worshipper of this animal is promised every gratification 
lie can desire^ 

Many Hindoos receive the initiating incantation by which this monkey becomes 
their guardian deity. The mark which these disciples make on their foreheads is 
the same as that made by the followen ofShiva^ 

About twenty years ago, Eeshwttrn-chnndrci^ the raja of Nodeeya, spent 100,00(1 

roopees in marrying two monkeys,* when all the parade common at Hindoo marri* 
ages was exhibited,. In the marriage procession were seen elephants, camels, horses., 

ri^j caparisoned^ paIanqueen8,.Jamps, and flambeaus; the male monkey was &s» 
tened in a fine palanqueen,. haviag a a*own upon his head^ wifli men standing by hia 
side to &n him ; then fi>Uowed singing and dancing girls in carriages, eveiy kind of 
Hmdoo music ; a grand display of fireworks, &c* Dancing, music, singing, and 
eveiy degree of low mirth, were exhibited at4he bridegroom's palace for twelve days 
together. At the time of the marriage ceremony, kaimed bramhons were employed^ 
in reading the formulas fi*om the shastrtts i 

Amongst men of sense the performance of the ceremonies of worship before the^ 
image of this monkey is attended with a degree of disgrace. I have heard of a quar?^ 
Fel between two bramhnns, one of whom was paid by a rich Hindoo to repeat the 
ceremonies of Hindoo worship before the image of Hanooman daily at his house : 
amidst the quarrel the other said — ^ Thou refuse of bramhuns! thou gaineet asub*-' 
sistence bj worshipping a monkey.' 

Siaries of ibis god. — ^When Hanooman first saw the rising sun, thinking it a rip^ 
fruit, he leaped up to the* residence of the god of day, and seized his chariot : Indca 
ifearing Honooman would swallow the glorious luminary, with his thunderbolt smote 
bun to the earth, where he lay lifeless. His distracted mother applied to his fiither 

« At this time none of tli^se monkeys were to be seen about Nttdfeya ; now tkey ave so nume nous that ihtx 
dcvonr almoit mU the fruit of the orchards^ as the inhabltaatt are afraid of hartinf them. 

198 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part hi. Cuap. i. 

Puyiina, who^ enraged at the loss of his son, retired into an inaccessible chasin, and 
hound up the wind, tiU both men and s^ods began to perish. Brumha, Vishnoo, Shi«i 
vu, and other gods now petitioned Puvunfi, but he refused them the privilege of 
breathing, unless they would make Hunooman immortal. Brumha then bestowed 
on Hnnoomanthe water of life, and Puvanu restored to men and gods the vital air. 
When ten years old, Jlonooman was possessed of immense strength. He 
brought a stone, from a mountain, sixteen or twenty miles in circumference, and 
threw it into a pool of water where a number of sages were at worship. This raised 
the water, so that the sages, who had closed their eyes in the act of meditation, be- 
gan to sink. After a few struggles they regained the land, and again sat down with 
closed eyes to their work. Hunooman next took out the stone, and the waters retir- 
ed ; and when the sages put out their hands to take up water for worship they were 
again disappointed. Opening their eyes, they saw the water had sunk exceedingly ; 
and following it, again closed their eyes, and sat down. Hunooman again flung in 
the stone, and the sages began to sink. He continued to repeat these frolics, till the 
sages discovering' the culprit, took away his strength. The sagacious monkey -now 
began to flatter the sages; brought ihem fruits, &c. from the forest, and performed 
with agility every act of menial service. After three years they 'blessed him, and 
assured him that when he should see Ramu upon mount Rishynmooku, he should 


obtain twice his former strength. ^On a certain occasion Hunooman was resolved 

to put the strength of Bheema to trial, as he was reputed to be so tremendous a 
giant : and lengthening his tail, he threw it across the path. As the Hindoos never 

stride across a person^s body, or evep his shadow, Bheemu requested Hunooman 
to take up his tail : but he complained he was grown old and could not. At last 
Bheemn stooped to lift it out of bis way ; he tried at the end, and then at the middle, 
but found, giant as he was, he could not lift up this monkey's tail. Overcome with 
fistoilishment, he began to praise Hunooman, and at length prevailed on him to 
promise that he would help the Panduvus in their expected war with Dooryodhunu« 




The Dag 
Carries Kala-Bhoiriiva, a form of Shivu, and therefore receives the worship of the 
Hindoos whenever his master is worshipped.* t have heard also that there are manj 
Hindoos in the west of Hindoost'hanu who pay their devotions to the dog, and be* 
come his disciples. Though the dog is thus placed amongst the objects of wor^ip, 
lie is mentioned in the Muhabharutnas an unclean animal: every offering which. he 
approaches is rendered unacceptable to the gods, and every one who touches hinv 
must purify himself by bathing. 


The shackaL 

TH E Tontrns mention an incarnation of Doorga in the form of the shacka], when 
she carried the childKrishnii over the Yumoona, in his flight from king Kiingsu. All 
the worshippers of the female deities adore the shackal as a form of this goddess^ 
especially the vamacharees, who present offerings to kim daily. Dverjr worshipper 
lays the offerings on a clean place in his house, and calls the god to come and partake 

of them. As this is done at the hour when the shackals leave their lurking places, 
4>ne of these animals sometimes comes and eats the food in the presence of the wor- 
shipper ; this will not appear wonderful when it is considered, that the same aniinal 
finds food placed for him in this place every day. In temples dedicated to Doorga 

and other deities, a stone image of the shackal is placed on apedestal, and daify wor.*^ 
ehipped. When a shackal passes a Hindoo he must bow to ft; and if it pass on tKe 
left hand,, i^ is a most lucky circumstance. 


Other animals worshipped. — ^THE elephimt, the lion, the bull, thebufialoe, the rat^ 
the deer, the goat, &c. are worshipped at tlie festivals of the gods whom they respec- 
tively carry, that is, of Ihdru, Doorga, Shivi'i, Yumu, GQn^shu, Povunii, and Brumbsu 

« Tb€ dog, it will be remembered, was consecrated to Man* 

900 HISTORY, LITERATURE, akd RELIGION, (Pa»t iu. Chaf. t. 


Worship of Birds, 


THIS goAf with the head and wings of a bird;+ and the rest of his body like that 
of a man, is called the king of the birds, and the carrier of Vishnoo. Yinutai the 
wife of Koshyapo, the progenitor of gods and men, laid an egg^ ^'^^ became the 
mother of this bird-god. As soon as Guroora was bom, his body expanded till 
it touched the sky ; all the other animals were terrified at him ; his eyes were like 
lightning ; the mountains fled with the wind of his wings, and the rays which issued 
from his body set the four quarters of the world on fire* The affrighted gods sought 
the help of Ugnee, conceiving that Garoora must be an incarnation of the god of fire. 

In consequence of a dispute betwixt Yintita, the mother of Gurooru, and Ktidrooi 
the mother of the serpents, respecting the colour of the horse procured at the chum* 
ing of the sea, a continual enmity has subsisted betwixt the descendants of these 
females ; and Guroorii once obtained permission from one of the gods to derour all 
the serpents he could find.^ 

The story of GoroorS's becoming the carrier of Yithnoo, is thus related in the 
Muhabharuto : His mother in the above dispute, having kid a wager, and being the 
loser, was reduced to a state of servitude to her sister; and the serpents, wishing te 

• Some suppose Gdroorii to be a large species of Taltore, aod others the (gigantic craae. 

+ GCrooriX in some degree resembles Mehrnry, Ti». in his bwinf wingi^aiid being Che mcsBenger of Vishooo, 
at Mercury was of Jupiter. 

t Jupiter is said to have been enamoored of the godAen Kencrit in (he shape of agoose, aad that she laid an 
«gg, from which was bom Helena. 

S When the Hindoos lie down to sleep, they repeat the mmt of Gtfrasrfi thiec tiae^, to obCaia protecli«t 


-become immortal) promiied to liberate his mother on condition that Garooru should 
liring Chundrri (the moon), whose bright parts, the Hindoos say, are filled with the 
water of immortality. Before Guroora departed, he asked his mother for some feod« 
She advised him to go to the sea shore, and gather up whatever he could see; but 
coiyured him to beware of eating a bramhnn, adding, ^ Should you at any time.feel 
a burning heat in your stomach, be sure you have eaten a bramhun.* ThusiJif 

structed, he began his journey t at his flight the three worlds were agitated like the 
sea at the great deluge* Passing by a country inhabited by fishermen, he at one in- 
spiration drew in houses, trees, cattle, men^ and other animals ; but^ among the inha* 
bitants swallowed, one was a bramhun, who caused such an intolerablebomiBg in hih 
bowels, that GtoroorTi, unable to bear it, called, in the greatest haste^ for him to come 
^eatl ThebramhoA refused, unlesi his wife, a fisherman^s daughter, might aeoompany 
*him I to whieh C^roorii consented. Pursuing his journey, Gtirooru met his ihther, 
Kushyopn, who directed him to appease his hunger at a certain lake where an el^ 
p^ant and a tortoise were fighting. The body of the tortoise was eighty miles long, 
and the elephant's one hundred and sixty. Garooro with one daw seized the 

elephant, with the other the tortoise, and perched with them on a tree eight hun« 
dred miles high ; but the tree was unable to bear the pondrous weight, and unhap* 
, pily thousands of pigmy bramhons were then worshipping on one of its branches. 
Trembling lest he should destroy any of them, he took the bough in his beak, continu* 
ing to hold the elephant and tortoise in his claws, and flew io a mountain in an uninha* 
bited countiy, where he finished his repast on the tortoise and elephant. Gurooro, 
having surmounted astonishing dangers, at last seized the moon^ and concealed it un« 

der his wing; but on his return was attacked by IndrQ and other gods, all of whom, 
however, except Vishnoo, he overcame ; uid even he was so severely put to It in the 
contest, that he came (o terms with GnroorS, who was made immortal, and promis« 
ed a higher seat than Vishnoo, while GSroora on his part became the carrier of Yish* 
noo. Since this time Vishnoo rides on Gurooru^ while the latter^ in the shqie of a 
flag, sits at the top of Visbnoo*s car. 


Guroora is worshipped at the great festivals before the difierHit images of Visfar 


soar HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Pabt in. Ch*^. t. 

Doo; but has no separate time of worship. His image is placed in the temples dedn 
cated to various forms of Vishnoo ; and some persons receive his name as their giiB» 
dian deity, and repeat it daily. 

G&roorti'B two sons, Sumpalee and Jatayoo, once ffew, as a trial of strength, up to 
the sun ; but the wings of Sampatee were burnt off. Guroorii resides in Koosho^ 
dwSpu, one of the seven islands- into which the Hindoos-divide the^earlh. 

Names* Gufopmut, er,. he who is dothed with fi^athers. — Gnroorii,.he who swaL- 
Ibws [serpents, and throws up their bones.]^— Tarkshjtl, from Tfirhshytt, the &ther 
.of Griroora.; — Voiniit^yu, from Vinuta.i — Khfigeshwiira, the lord of the feathered 
tribes. — ^Nagantaka, the destroyer of the serpents (nagiis).^y ishnoo-rat'hn, the cas- 
,rier of Vishnoo. — Soopiirna^ he whose feathevs are-of the colour oCgold.**PiBnqga- 
•banu, the devoures of thesefipeiits*. 


TTlir elder Brother of Garooru, is the charioteer of Saoryu, the sun, and' is wor- 

• « 

shipped with his master, as well as at' the festivals of other gods«^ The image of this 
god is that of a man without thighs. 


Tins bird is the friend of Ramu, and is worshipped'at the same festival with him. 
He is mentioned in the preceding account of Ramu.. 


Shunk&ri Chillu^ or the eagle of CoromandeL 

THIS is the white-headed kite, commonly called the bramhunee kite. It is con-* 
^dered.a9 an incarnation of Doorga, and is reverenced by the Hindoos, who bow to 
it whenever it po^l^s them. 



KhufijuHUy or the wag^taU. 

IS considered as a form of V Ishnoo, on account of the mark on its throat suppos* 
ed to resemble the Shalgramu. The Hindoos honour it in the same manner as fhef 
do the eag^le of Goromandel. 


Other Birds worshipped* , 

THE peacock, the goose, and the owl,* are worshipped at the festirals of Kar* 
tikn, Brumha, and LokshmSe. 

•If, howeTer, the owl, the Tvltare, or any other unclean birds, perch upon the hoaie of a Hindoo, it is an 
mnlttcky omen, and the effect mast be remOTcd by the performance of the foUowing expiatory ceremony : **lf 
a Taltnre, a heron, a dove, an owl, a hawk, a pill, a kite, a Bhasha, or a Pandora, should settle apon a house, 
the wife, or a child, or some other person beloasing to the master of the house, null die, or Eome joiher calMiity 
will befal him within a year afterwards. To prevent which, thehonse, or its value in money, most be given to 
bramh5ns; or a peace-oafering of an extraordinary nature must be offered : live productions of the cow ; the 
i?e fea»; the five nectareous juices; the five twigs i>f trees; and the five astringents, are to .be pot into a{M»te€ 
water; thegaardian deities of the quarters of the universe must then be worshipped, and an hundred and eight 
oblations of clarified butter must be made with a aacrificial piece of the Wood of the Khadira tree, while (he 
prayer of Mrityoonjfiytt is repeated. The oblation, called the m«ha<ivyadhee homfi, is to be performed at the 
commenoemient, or at the end of this eeremooy. Ohlations of clarified butter^ at each<of <whieh ihe^uyltroe^ se- 
peated, are then toi>e made to Vishnoo, the nine planets, Udbhoot!!^, and the household gods, whidi being done, 
the bramhfins must be entertained with clarified batter and rice milk. The sacrificial fees must then be paid, 
«ad watei spdnkled wilb appropriate incantationsi when an assurance that aH has been diiy perfoiDMd behsff 
givea^ a prostiatioa Is made to the braiiUi&iis« and the benediction received from theou" 

ZS ' . 




Worship of Treeg. 


TREES are worshipped by the Hindoos as the forms of particular gods : the osk> 
wotu and vatU are representatives of Yishnoo ; and the vilwu that of Shiva. The 
devout Hindoos worship them, water their roots, plant them near their houses^ &c. 
The Hindoo females who are never seen in the streets, plant a sacred tree within the 
compound, that they may not lose the merit of watering it in the sultry months* The 
female shoodrus, to honour the wives of bramhons, carry water to these treeS| and 
on a fortunate day make offerings to them. 


The Tootihee.^ 

THE Hindoos have no public festival in honour of this plant, but they occasionally 
prostrate themselves before it, repeating a form of prayer or praise; they have great 
laith also uithe power of its leaves to cure diseases, and use it with incantations to 
expel the poison of serpents. They plant it also before their houses, and in the 

jnoming deanse the place around it with water and cow-dung ; and in the evening 
place a lamp near it. Throughout the month Yoishakhu they suspend a large pot 
over it filled with water, and let the.water drop upon it through a small hole. When* 
f ver any of these plants die, it is considered a sacred duty to oosinit them to the 
river ; and when a person is brought to the river side to die, his relations plant a 
branch of the toolosee near the dying man*s head. A pillar, hollow at the top, is 
erected by many Hindoos, in ifrhich they deposit earth, and set the plant. They walk 

round these pillars and bow to the plant, actions are declared by the shastrii to lie 
very meritorious. 

• BsdlOcimttmgr»tMm«B,aada— Bwctok Hie mjrtle w«a ncrcd to V< 


The origin of tLe worghip of the Tooliigee is thus related in the Vishnoo poorano, 
and in the Toolaaee-Mahatmu : Tooluaeey a female, was engaged for a long time in 
religious aasterities ; and at length asked this blessing of Vishnoo, that she might 
become hu wife. LokshmS, Vishnoo's wife, hearing this^ cursed the woman, and 
changed her into a Toolfisee plant j*^ but Vishnoo promised, that he would assume 
the form of the shalgramu, and alwajs continue with her. The Hindoos, therefore; 
continually keep one kaf of the tooluMe umder and anothei* upon the shal^ramp. 


OAer t0CTti Trets^ 

THE D8hwattu,t Tottt^ vukoola^^ haritakee,| amulokee,* vilwuf and nimbiif 
trees receive divine honours from the Hindoos^ and are set apart with the same ce- 
remonies as are common at the setting up of an image of the gods. These ceremonies 
take place either at the time of planting the tree, or after the person has watered 
and nourished it for some time. An individual who consecrates an ushwnttn or a 
votu, considering these trees as continuing to flourish many years, says, ^ Oa ! Yish* 
iioo ! grant that, for planting this tree, I may continue as many years in heaven as 
this tree shall remain growing in the earth !' The person expects too, that as he has 
oet apart this tree to afford shade to his IWow creatures, so after death he will not be 
•sorched bj exoessive heat in his journey to yama« the regent of death. 

a lyplfci fhiiiy d tte ysaft Oypariiw iato > cyptm tree. Dkipbaeww Ranged into a Initfl. 

f Flew religioML Hill and otiMr trees are never iajawd, nor cnt down, nor burnt by de?ont Hindoo!* 
1 WM onee infenned by n bramban, tbat hi« ^rand-fatber planted one of tbose trees neat* bis boose, wbicb baft 
BOW spread its braocbes so ividely, tbat, as my informant affitmed, 9000 persons nay stand nnder it ; and so mncb 
is this tree re?erenccd by his family, tbat tbey do not sntbr la withered branebes to be bnmt 

t Fiens Indtca, ▼nli^ly called the banyan irte, ^ Mlmiaopfl eleasi. | Tcnnlnalia citrina. • Phillantfant 
^nMtca. i J!^le marmdos. t ^^ia axodBfaeta. 


20a HISTORY, LITERATURE, amd RELIGION, [Paet iii. Chap, u 

sEcnoN Lxxxvn. 

TTie worship of Rivers. 

RIVERS are to be placed among the objects of Hindoo worship:* they are of 
both genders, Nudu, and Nudee. The worship of these rivers is performed at 

auspicious seasons, as laid down in the shastra, and at some of the great festivals. 
Certain places also of these rivers are peculiarly sacred, and draw to them great 
numbers of devotees, as, the source of the Ganges ; the union of the Ganges, the 
Yumoona, and the Saruswutoe at PrayagU ;f the branching of this united river into 
three streams at Triv6nee; the place where the Ganges disembogues itself into the 
sea, &c. Their waters are used for food, bathing,* medicine, religious ceremonies, 
&c. and formerly when a Hindoo king was crowned, they were poured upon his 
head as a part of his consecration. 




THIS goddess is represented as a white woman, wearing a crown, sRting on the-' 
sea animal M ukiiru, and having iii her right hand a water-lily and in her left the Inte., 
She is called the daughter of mount Himavat, though some of the poorantis declare 
that she was produced from the sweat of Vishnoo^s foot, which Brumha caught aod 
preserved in his aIms^di3h• 

r \ 

* The Dotien of certain riven being sacred, seems to have prevailed amongst other beathen naUons. Henee 
Naaman, the Syrian, said, <* Are not Abaaa and Pharpar, riven of Qamascas, better than all the waten of U- 
rael ? May I not vrr^\k in them and be clean ?" 

• • • 

f It is ascertained, that there are six places of this name, five of which aie situated on Uie river UlSkaoSnda«. 
See Asiaiic Bttearchety vol. ilth. 

Ofoeifieo miTEBs.] OF THE HINDOOS* 


The grand-lather of BSshmii was one day. perfoming religious anfiterities near 
the Ganges, when the goddess fell in love with him, and, in order to persuade him to 
a union, went and-sat upon his right knee. He told her that the left knee was the 
proper place for the wife, and the right for the son;' that therefore- she sliould not 
become his, but be united to his son; whose name was Santfinoo; After Santnnoo 
andGQnga.had been married some time, she ^i«s about to* leave him; but consented 
to stay on conditfon that she might kill all her children at their birth. When the 
first child^vds bom, she threw it into the river, and so on to the seventh inclitsive. 
As she was destroy uig the eighth, Santuiioo forbad her, in consequence of which the 
child was saved; but she abandoned her paramour. The whole of this was to fidfil 

a;ciu*se pronounced' by Vishnoo on the eight gods named Ushta-vusoo. 


The Rdmayonii,' the ftfTihabharntn, and the Gnnga'lthfindn, a part of the SkSn- 
du pooranu, give long accounts of the descent of GSnga from heaven :—Srignrn, a 
Eing, having no chUdren, entfered upon a 16ng course of austere devotions, in the 
mrdst of which Bhrigoo appeared to him, and'promised, that fromthe eldest queen 
should be bom sixty thousand childf en, and from the other only a single child. Af- 
ter some timej ,the queen was deKvered^-of a pumpkin r which the king in anger 
dash«rtD the ground, when the fruit was broken, and, to his astonishment, he saw 
chddren rising from it ; and, calling sixty thousand nurs'es, put each child into a pan 
of milk. The other wife had a son, whom they called Ungshooman. After these 
sons were grown up, the Kng resolved to perform once more the sacrifice of a horse 
before his diath, and committed the victim to the care of his sixty-thousand sons. 
Tlie person who performs this sacrifice one hundred times, succeeds to the throne 
of heaven. On this occasion, the reigning Ihdrii was alarmed, this being Sognrn's 
hundredth sacrifice. To prevent its taking effect, therefore, he descended to the 
earth, and assuming another form, privately carried off the horse, which he placed 
m patalo, near to Kapilfi, a sage. The sixty thousand sons, after searching through- 
out the earth in vain, began to dig into patalu,» ivhere they found the horse standing 
by the side of Knpflu, who was absorbed in his devotions. Incensed at the old man, 

ikat »ot find.„g a pl»« tar^e eao-gh f CBtaln ttc ewU. y^tfh they (b«. dog „p-^ey ier^^^ U ! 

208 BISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Paet u i. Chab. i» 

whom tbcgr supposed to be tlie thie^ they began to beat him, when awaking from his 
.abstraction of mind, he reduced them aU to ashes* The king for a long time heard 
no more of his sods ; but at length Narttdn informed him of the catastrophe. He 
then sent his son Uagshooman <iown to the sage, who delivered up the horsoi and 
informed the king that if he oeuld bring the goddess Ganga from heaven^* his sons 

might be restored to him. The king offered the sacrifice, and placing Ungshooman 
on the throne, took up his residence in a forest as a hermit, where he died. ITng- 

shoomas, vin his turn, making his son Dwileepo his successor, died also in a forest 
Dwileepu had two wives, but «o children ; he therefore abdicated the throne, and 
embracing the lifo oTa hermit, sought of the gods a son, and the deliverance of the 
sons of Sogora, Shiva promised him, that by means of his two queens a son should 
be born. These women lived together, and after some time the youngest had a son, 

whom they called BhugSrarhti,t who, however, was only a mass of flesh. Though 
greatly moved at the sight of such a child, they preserved it, and in time it grew up 
to manhood. One day Ushto-vfikru, a noonee, who was hump-backed^ and wriggled 
in walking, called to see these females, when Bhngeerat^hr, in rising to salute the 

sage, trembled and wriggled in such a manner, that Ushta-vukra, thinking he was 
mocking him, said, <If thou canst not help wriggling thus, be a perfect child; but 
if thou art mocking me, be destroyed.^ The boy immediately became perfect, and * 
the sage gave him his blessing. When Bh&gSerut*hfi was grown up, he addressed 
his prayers to different gods for the restoration of his sixty thousand relations, but 
in vain ; at length Brnmha, moved by his piety, gave him a single dr<^ of the wa^ 
ter, and Yidhnoo giving him a shell which he blew, Gnnga followed him. As she 
had to iaU from heaven to earth, Bhngeerut*hu was afraid lest the earth should be 
crushed by her fall : wherefore Shiva, standing on mount Himavot^ caught Gonga 
in his bunch of matted hair, and detained her there for soote time; but at length suf* 
fared one drop to fall on the mountain, and from thence, on the tenth of the increase 
of the moon in Jyoisht'hu, the goddess touched the earth, and whichever way Bhfi- 
geeruf hu went blowing the conch, there Gonga followed him. 

* Or, » it is explained, if he coaM perfonii the funeral rites for 4liese sixty tbosnad yeffosf wUh Ike eft* 
cacious viater3 of the GaD|^, they would be delivered from the curse, and aseend to hearea. 

f This story b so extremely iodelicate, that it is impossible to translate i(. 


SeTeral rery curious circumstanees happened to Gunga as she passed alongp. In 
one place she ran near Juahoo, a sage^ and washed away his mendicants dish, the 

lowers for worshipj 8cc\ upon which he, in anger, took her up, and swaUowed hef • 
At the intreaties of Bhngeerot'hn, however, the sage let her pass out at his thigh, 
4>n which aocouat Gunga received the name of JanhuvS. 

On the/ went, till Gonga asked BhogeSrot^hn where these sixtj tiiouqand relati* 
ons were whom she was to deliver* He being unable to inform her, she, to make 
aiuis of their ddUverasce, at the entrance of the sea, divided herself into one hundred 
streams,^ and ran down into patala ; where, as soon as the waters of Gnnga touchel 
their ashes^ thej were delivered from the curae, and ascended in chariots to heaven* 

When (jranga was brought from heaven, the gods, conscious that their sins a]s6 
needed washing away, petitioned Brttmha on the sulgect, who soothed them bj pro« 
PHsing that Gronga should remain in heaven, and descend to the earth also. This 
goddess, therefore was called M ondakinee in heaveni Gonga on earth, and Bhof 04» 
Totds in patala. 

An casts worship Gonga, yet most of the ceremonies at the fime of the daily ab« 
lutions, with the exception of some forms of praise to this goddess, are in the name 
of Shivtt and other gods* The Hindoos particularly choose the banks of this river 
for their worship, as the merit of works performed here, according to the promise 
of the shastrtts,t becomes exceedingly augmented. In Yoishakhu, Jyoisht'hiii 
Kartika, and Magho, the merit is greater than in other months; and at the foil moon 

• Jkt awthB of tte Gsoyt. 

f '*HewbotUiilu«poaGBiig%<lioii^he]in7be8t0m!l€«dMMtfiPMiClwiiverst 
ed tnm ail Am^ tmd is eatiUed to beaTen.— At the hoor of death, if a penon think upon Gfinga, he will obtaia 
a place in Ae hoavea of SbivS. — If a pcfwn, according to the rej^nlatious of the shastrtt, be going to bathe ia 
Gtaga, and die on the raadt he shall obtain the tame benefits as though he had actually bathed.— -There are 
3,500,000 holy places belongiagto Gfinfa: the person who looks at GBnga, or bathes in this river, will obtain all 
the fruit which arises firom Tinting all these 3,500,000 holjr places.— If a penon who has been guUty of killing 
cows, bramh^ns, his gooroo, or of drinking spirits, ftc. touch the waten of Gfinga, desiring in his mind the f«* 
missioB of these sins, they wSI be forgiven.— By bathing in Gfinga, accompaiiied with prayer, apeiwo will tm 
■ove at once the lias of thosssadt of birthfl.*'-^iiiv«-^afcya-fli(se. A a 


in these months, is still more enhanced. In everj month, on the first, sixth, and 
eleventh of the moon, and at its totsd wane^ also, bathing in GUnga is much reconi- 

On the third of the moon, in Yoishakhit, a few Hindoos perform the ceremonies 
of worship hy the side of the river, under the expectation that the benefits will be 
^ndecayable ; such is the promise of the smritee shastras.. 

On the 10th of the moon's increase in Jjoisht'hii, in the forenoon, the Doshuhtim 
festival is held, in commemoration of Giinga's descent to the earth. Crowds of 

people assemble from the d^rent towns and villages near the river, especially at tUe 
most sacred places of the river, bringing their ofierings of fruit, rice, flowers, cloth, 
sweetmeats,' &c. and bang garlands of flowers across the river, even where it is very 
wide. . After the people have bathed, the officiating bramhun ascends the banks -of ' 
.the river- with them, and after repeating sangkulpu,* places before him a jar. of wa- 
ter, and sitting with his face to the north or east, perfoi'ms wliatis called ghntr.-st'ha*- 
punri.t After this, the bramhun performs other ceremonies, as asrinn shooddhee,^ 
unga-nyasrT,% kurangn-nyasd,^ bhoot-shooddheej|I dig-vnndhimu,* bhirtotsarr.nn,t 
Stc. ; then the worship of the five gods ; of the nme planets ; of the regents of the ten 
quarters, &c. To this succeeds meditation, mannsu,^ &c. ; the priest next presents 
the offerings, which may Be sixty-four, or eighteen, or sixteen, or ten, or five, or 
merely flowers and water, according to the person's ability. To these offerinfi^s, the 
worshipper must add sesamum, clarified butter, and barley-flour. The officiating 
bramhun next performs the worship ofNaraytinn, MaheshwiirrijV Briimha, Sjcrya, 
Bhugoerrit'hn, and Himairiyu; t/.en the worship of the inhabitants of the waters, as 

*~ Ad incantation, at the time of repeating which the person promises to attend to certain ceremonieffw 

f The ceremonies perfanncd at the setting up.oF an- image. Here the jar of water 48 tke iniagf , befoas 
which the worship of any of the gods may be performed. 

t Pttrirying the seat. ^ Ceremonies accompanied with mo' ions ofthe fingers. j[ Parifyiiig 

Hie iiwe elements of which the body is composed.  Binding the ten qaarters to prcrent ctiI spirits from 

arriTing to defile the worship. f Drfving away the evil spirits. J. Going over alflbe ceremonies 

to-the miodi ^ Shivd: 


the fish, the tortoises, the frogs, the water-snakes, the leeches, the snafls,* the mii- 
kar&s^ the shell-fish, the porpoises, &c. The offerings after having been presented 
tp the inhahitants of the watery are thrown into the Ganges. Ten lamps of clarified 
Imtter are then lighted up, and all the other offerings presented. After this, the; 
names of certain gods are repeated, with forms of praise; the fee is presented to the 
priest, the bramhnns are entertained, and the offerings sent to the houses of bram« 
hnns. At the close of these ceremonies the people perform obeisance to Gunga, and 
then depart. Great multitudes assemble on the banks of the river on these occasi- 
ons, and expect much both in this life and hereafter from this act of worship. If a 
person placing on his head ten fruits of any kind, thus immerse himself in the Ganges 
on this daj, the sins often births will be removed* 

In this month also clay images of Gunga are set up in domestic temples, and wor- 
shipped, and the next day thrown into the river. In some places clay ima^^es of this 
goddess are preserved in clay temples and worshipped daily. Persons escaping dan- 
gers on water, present offerings to Gfmga, as well as to Vuroonn, the Indian Nep-- 
ture ; as mariners, having escaped the dangers of the sea, used to offer a sacrifice to 

« Tfai> ttrqpfly remiads «s of (he lines af Javenal, 8a(yr. it. 
Who has not beard where E^^pt's realms are nam'd^ 
What monster gods her frantic sons have framed ? 
Here Ibis gorg'd with weU-grown serpents,* there 
The Crocodilef commands religious fear^ 
'Where Memnon's statue magic strings inspire 
With vocal woods, that eoMlate tke Ijre ; 
And Thebes, such fate, are thy disastrous tumsJ 
Now prostrate o'er her pompous ruins mourns | 
A monkey-tfod,^ prodigious to be told ! 
Strikes the beholder's eye with bnmish*d gold ; 
To godship here blue Triton's scaly herd, 
The river progeny is there preferr'd-r( 
Through towns Diana's power neglected lies, 
Where to her dogs|| aspiring temples rise: 
And shou'd you leeks or onions eat, no time 
Would expiate the sacriJegioos crime, 
Religious nations sure, and blest abodes, 
^^ Where every orchard is o'er-ron with gods. 

S$9 Gurofu. f Thi Hindoot throw their children to the MlUgators. t Hunoomm. § 5«8 the ammni 0501%, 

I SecttpremUngarUcte, 


$19 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part hi. Ch af u 

Oo tbe thirteenth of the* decrease' of the moon, ia Choitra,,ihepeople degoe&d in* 
to the water, and wUktiieir hands joined immerse themselves ; after which die #fi<«> 
fiatijig bramhun reads a portion of the shastra describings the beneBts arising fhm 
this act of bathing. The people repeat after the priest certain significant words, a» 
the day of the mcmth, the name of Yishnoo, &c. and then, immerse- themselves again.. 
Gifts of rice,, fruits, mid monej are offered to thepoor, the bramhans, and the priest, 
©n this^ occasion groups of ten or twelve persons stand in the water m onespot, tx^ 
whomonebramhQn reads the fiNrmulas. These groups are to be seen extending thenn- 
selves very fiir along the river. At the moment of the coiy unction of the moon (oa 

ihe thirteenth of its decrease) with the star ShiitaUiishay this festival is called the- 
Great VaroonS* The merit arising ftom bathing at this lucky moment is supposed 
to be very great ; the people fiist till the bathing is over. When there is a conjunc-^ 
fion as: above^ and tlieday fidls on » SaUusday,, the&stival is called the Gceat>^ G(«it 

The pooranas declare, that tbesigfat, thename, orthe touch oTGunga taKesawqir 
all sin however heinous ; that thinking of Giinga, when at a distance,, is sufficient to- 
remove the taint of sin ; but thai bathing: in. Giinga ha»bleesing|i iaitofwbickn^ 
im ag inat ion can conceive^ 

So mucfi is this river reTerencett among tbeKiiidbos, that raanf bremham wiff not 
eook upon it, nor throw sriiva tnt» it, nor wash theni8elve» nor th«r clothes in it.+ 
Some persons perform a journey of five or six. months to bBtheinG%nga,.topeHbrm 
the rites for deceased reUions^md to cany A» w«ter«(» plaw in thtirhMUM, fer 
religious and raediciiial uses. The water of this river is used also ia Aft English, 
eowts of justice to^ swear upon, as the korwi is gjiran to aasolmata^ and'tte New 
Testament tochristians; but raanj of the most respectable Hindoo* refuse to«o^iy 

• ^AetlmeofDUW, •f«tefe«hf*,«fc.Ataof<lteGtage.»tan»nypB««,«rg.llynitali-«,Miifcl* 
*Meae<l on b«ar<U, pranJaii, rtalk,, 4c. or p.t in e«th«, pote, «e^floUe<t down (be Mre«n. 

+ I»tbe work caMrt Valm5ek.*M»ooMe, Mnonsst many other form, of pnite to be oftred to'CWnp^ i. Our 
IWtowiliRt "Cgodde., theowKhat lodg«.ta the holtbw of* tree on thy bank. i.enUted l»eyoodme.fBi«, whOe 
A» emperor, wftow palace is fer from thee, though he may po»es9 a millioa.of (tately clepliajllt, aad>m»» hn» 
ibe wiwf of miUioat of conquered, enemiai to letve him, to Bolhlnj."- 

Or MiFiEi^ mi¥SR8.] OF THE HINDOOS^ flS 

wilhtliif fnethodofmdidiigeaU^aUedgiDgthattliei^ 

to touch the water of the (janges,* the shalgramoy or a bramhanv When such cases 
•ecar in the courts^ the judges verjr candidly permit the persoB^ if oTgMd chaiMter, 
to give his evidence in a way erasistent wiA his pecidiar prejudices, as^ lAer bath* 
hug, Ac. and standing with his fkce to the east* The Hndoo oenrts fermerljr at« 
aiitted a person's evidence witikoal an oalii ; and when a cause could not ha detw* 
■HBed bj evidence thus given, they resorted to the ordeal* tt is net unconnaon Ibr 
aoe Hindbo to say ta another,. *■ Will yea mnkc this engagmnent on the banks of 
Gui^^ The other replies, ^ I engage to do what i have said; bul I cannot call 
Gonga to witness ikJ If a person utter a most audacious lie, while near or upon the 
Ganges^ the person to whom he is speaking says, ^ Are you not afraid of uttering 
such a fidsehood in the presence of GEonga ? '^ A third person perhaps adds, as a coa» 
tinuation of the reproach — ^ Not he; he hasbeen guikjr ofdischarging: his urine iat» 
Gang^ even at Praynga.'' 

Morning and evening the Hindoos visit and Took at this river to remove the sme 
•f the night or of the day ; when sick they smear their bodies with the sediment, and 
remain near the river for a month perhaps. Some of course recover^ and others die t 

a Hindoo says,, thai those who have a steady faith and an unwavering mind^ recovery 

The Hindoos are extremely anxious to die m sq;ht of Ae Ganges, that theur sum 
may be washed away in their last moments. A p^son in his last agonies is tte^ 
f uently draf^^ from his bed and friends, and carried, in the coldest or in the hot-> 
est weather,^^ from whatever dlBtance, to cn'e riter side, wbere he Ifes, If a poor man^ 
wiAout a covering day and night till he expires; witfa thepains of dsatfa up<»him, he 
is planed up to the middle in the water, and drmdied with it. lieaves of the toolosee 
plant are also put iato his mouth ; and his relations call upon him te repeat, and re» 
peat fop hini> the nanses of Rama,. Haree, Narayunn, Brnmha, Gunga^ ftc. In some 
eases the &mily priest repeats some incantations,, and makes an offering to yoitura* 
mee^theriver over which the soul, they say, is ferryed after leaving the body. The 

* Many penom refuse to oonlest caases in which laifc siubs are at stake, onder tke fear that ar>' irsj^cqb* 
ttnioed to make oath on the waters of the Ganges. 


t^lalions of the dying man spread the sediment of the river on his forehead or breast| 
^nd afterwards with the finger write on this sediment the name of some deity. If » 
person should die in his house, and not by the river side, it is considered as a great 
misfortune, as he thereby loses the help of the goddess in his dying moments. If a 
person choose to die at home, his memory becomes infamous. The conduct of Raja 
Niivu-krishnu of Nudeeya, who died in his bed-room about the year 1800, is still 
mentioned as a subject of reproach because he refused to be carried to the river be- 
fore death. ^ Ah ! Ah !' say the superstitious, when a neighbour at the point of death 
-delays the fetal journey to the river, *he will die likellaja Nava-Krishnu.' 

Dead bodies are brought by their relations to be burnt near this river, and when 
Ihey cannot bring the whole body, it is not uncommon for them to bring a single bona 
Wkd cast into the river,* under the hope that it will help the soul of the deceased. 

In the eastern parts of Bengal, married women, long disappointed in their hopes 
of children, make an offering to Gunga, and enter into a vow, that if the goddess 
will give them two children, they will present one to her; and it is not uncommon 
for such women to cast the first child into the river as an offering ;'but it is said, that 
at present, some relation or religious mendicant stands ready to preserve the life of 
the child. The mother cannot take it again, but this person adopts and provides for 
^t. These offerings are made on tlie tenth of the moon, in Jyoisht'ha, and on the 



Some persons even drown themselves in the Ganges, not doubting but they shall 

• Manypenoofl, whose relations die at a distance from the Ganges, at Uie time of bnroing the body pre- 

•erre a bone, and at some future time bring this bone and commit it to Gi nga, supposing that this will secure 

'thesaWation of the deceased. The woric called Kriya-yogCsarfi contains the following curious story: Abru». 

*hfin, who had been guilty of the greatestcrimes, wa.devourcd by wild beasts ; his bonesonly remained. A crow 

took up one of Uiese bongs, and was carrying it over Gimga, when another bird darling upon it, the crow let 

'the bone fall. As soon as the bone touched Gflnga, the bramhCn sprang to life, and was ascending to heaTen, 

*when Uie messengers of Yiimfi, the judge of the dead, seized him, as a great sinner. At /his Ume Natmyfintt's 

^messengeiB interfered, and pleaded, that the sins of this man, since one of his bones bad touched Gfinga, were 

all done away. The appeal was made to Vishnoo, who decided in Uie bramhiia's fafour. The bramhQii mm^ 

'4iately went to heaven. 

Of deified hivbiis.] OF THE HINDOOS. S15 

immediateij ascend to heaven. The shastra encourages this.* It is a sin for a 
bramhun, but an act of merit in a shoodri, or a dundee, if he be in worldly tronble, or 
afflicted with an incurable distemper. The Gnnga-Vakya-Yulee sajs, ^ Should anj 
person have eaten with another who is deg^raded for seven successive births ; or have 
committed the five sins, each of which is called muha-patuku; should he have eaten 
the food which has been touched by a woman in her courses ; or have constantly 
spoken fsUsely ; or have stolen gold, jewels, &c. ; should he have killed the wife of 
his friend ; or have injured bramhuns, or friends, or his mother, &c. ; or havecommit- 
ted the sins which doom a man to the hell called Maha-rouravu ; or have committed 
those sins for whictrthe messengers of YQmu constantly beat a person ; or have com- 
mitted multitudes of sins in childhood, youth and old age, — if this person bathe in 
Ganga, at an auspicious period, all these sins will be removed; he will also be admit* 
ted into the heaven ofBrumha, the Purnm-hangsee; be put in possession of the me- 
rits of the man who presents a lack of red cows to abramhan learned in the four v£- 

d&s ; and afterwards will ascend and dwell at the right hajid of Vishnoo. After he 
has enjoyed all this happiness, and shall be re-born on the earth, he will be possess- 
ed of every good quality, enjoy all kinds of happiness, be very honourable, &c. He 
who shall doubt any part of this, will be doomed to the hell called Koombhee-pako, 
and afterwards be bom an ass. If a person, in the presence of Ganga, on the anni- 
versary of her arrival on the earth, and according to the rules prescribed in the shas- 
trns, present to the bramhans whole villages, he will obtain the fruits that arise from 
all other offerings, from all sacrifices, from visiting all the holy places^ &c. ; his bo- 

* The Sktindfl pooranfi declares, that by dying in the Ganges, a person wiU obtain absorption into BrfimbS. 
The same work contains a promise from Shivfi, that whoever dies in Gtngg shall obtain a place in his heaven.— 
The Bhfivisby& pooranS affirms, that if a ivorm, or an insect, or a grass-hopper, or any tree growing by the side 
of G&nga, die in the river, it will obtain absorption into Brfirnhft.— The Br9mh& pooranfi says, that whether 
a person reaonnce life in G&nga praying for any parlicnlar benefit, or die by accident, or whether he possess his 
senses or not, he will be happy. If he pnrposely renounce life, he will enjoy absorption, or the highest happi- 
ness; if he die by accident, he will still attain heaven. — Bfftnoo says, 'A mansion with bones for its rafters and 
beams; with nervesand tendons for cords; with moscles and blood for mortar; with skin for its outward cover- 
ing ; filled wi^i no sweet perfume, but loaded with feces and oriue; a mansion infested by age and by sorrow, 

the seat of malady, harassed with pains, haunted with the quality of darkoess^ and incapable of iCandiog long 
such a mansion of the vital soul I'' its occupier always cheerfally quit.* ^ 

216 HISTOHY, LlTEIllTUftE, akd RELIGION, [Part in. Cbap. i. 

dj will be a million timej more glorious than the sun ; he will obtain a million of 
virgins, and multitudes of carriages, palanqueens, &c. covered with jewels; he will 
dwell for ages in heaven, enjoying its pleasures in company with his father ; as ma- 
ny particles of dust as are contained in the land thus given away to the bramhjns^ for 
so many years will the giver dwell in happiness in Vishnoo's heaven/ 

Every real christian must be deeply affected on viewing the deplorable effects of 
this superstition. Except that part of the rig-veJj which countenances the burn* 
iog of women alive, no writers ever gave birth to a more extensive degree of mise* 
ry than those who have made the Ganges a sacred river. Thousands^ yea millions 
of people are anually drawn from their homes and peaceful labours, several times in 
the year, to visit different holy places of this river, at a great expence of time, and 
money spent in making offerings to the goddess ; expensive journies are undertak- 
en by vast multitudes to obtain the water* of this river, (pome come two or three 
months' journey for this purpose,) or to carry the sick, the dying, the dead, or the 
bones of the dead, to its banks 5 what the sick and dying suffer by being exposed to 
all kinds of weather in the open air on the banks of the river, and in being choaked 
by the sacred water in their last moments, is beyond expression. In short, no eyes 
but those of Omniscience can see all the foul deeds done upon and by the sides of 
this river, and the day of judgment alone can brihg all these deeds to light. The 
bramhan will then see, that instead of Gnnga*s having removed the sins of her wor- 
shippers, she has increased them a million-fold. 

* Many thousands perish by the dysentery, and others throngh want, in these joarnies. 

Of 9EiM» MTBftt.] OF TH£ HINDOOS. ^tf 


Other deified Riven. 

THE OodavfirSB) tlie Niiniitbb, the KavereS, the AtrejSe, the Knruteya, the 
Bahooda, the Goraotee, the Soroyoo, the GandukS, the YaraheS^ the Chormnn-' 
WQtS, the Shatddroo, the Yipasha, the Qoutflmee^ the Kormanasha, the Shontl^* 
the OirayotS, the Chandrobhaga, the Vitiista, the Sindhoo, the Bhodra-vokasha^ 
the PoUasa) the D6v3ca, the Tamrupttrnee^ the TooHgobhfidra, the Krishna, the 
VitnhFoteS^ the Bhoiruva, the Bromha-pootro,* the VoitarQnS) and many other 
xiyen^ are m^oiioned in the Hindoo shastras as sacred* 

At the lull moon in Asharha, naajthpusand Hindoos assemble at Pratapo-gora^ • 
place to the W. of Lucknow, and bathe in the Goda?iiree, or in the remains of it^ 
/or at this season of the year this river is nearly dried up. 

On the last day of Choitra, a large assembly of Hindoos meet at Moduphfirn-poortf^' 
^bout sixteen miles .from Patna, where theOondaicee, the 'fiorcTv^, and the Ganges 
flneet.t The assembly remains eight days, and a lai^ fiur is held on the spot, at which 
horses, camels, and other beasts, and also children, are bought and sold : the price 
<»f aboy is fi^m ten \m twelve roopees ; that of a girl is less. 

On the same day a large concourse of Hindoos, some say as many as SO,OOQ, prin^ 
cipally women, assemble at Uyodhya, to bathe in the -Soroyoo. 

On the 14th of the decrease of the moon in Phalgoonu, an equal number of people 

* ThewarenalcriTen. ^ There are serenlcaasei why particnlar places of these riTers are esteemed 
peculiarly sacred. Sonae of these causes are sl^ini In the shastrfis, and othen arise from tradition. One instance 
of the latter occurs ropecHng Voidyrfiatec, a place near Serampore, where Niinace, a rellfions mendicant, per- 
formed hUdevotUNis, and where at present, at a conjunction of parUcnUr stars, mniatudes assemUe to hathe. 


218 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part hi. Chap. i. 

•re said to meet on the banks of the Sdraye& ai Bahttrom-ghata, near Ladknow : but 
they do not bathe in the river^ the water of which is very filthy, butin a sacred pool 

On the banks of the Yiimoona, on the second of the moon in Kartika, and on the 
eighth of the decrease of the moon in Bhadra^ vast crowds o£ Hindoos assemble in 
different places to bathe. 

The BramhiSppotra receives the same hononrs on the eighth of the increase oB 
4he moon in' Choitra. At a place three days' journey, from Dacca, SO or 60,000» 
people assemble, and sacrifice pigeons, sheep^ and goats, casting them into the ri- 
ver. Children are also cast into the river here by their mothers,, bat are generallr 
rescued and carried home By strangers. Superstitious people say, that on this day 
the river graduaUy swells^so a» to fill its banks, and then gradual]^ sinks t^ts nsu-^ 


The VoitSranw, in OHssa, isaTso placed among the sacred rivers, and on the ffiir- 
teenth of the decrease of the moon ift Choitru great multitudes of Hindoos, ( 6 or 
700,000) assemble at Yajfi^'pooru, near, the temple of Jugonnat'ha^andbatheinthie 

Many other rivers receive the same honours ;* and Fcould have greatly enlarg- 
ed this account,, in detailing their fiibulous histories, and in noticing the supersti* 
tious ceremonies of this deluded people on their banks : but what I havehereinswt- 
ed. and the preceding account of Gonga, must suffice^ 





Worship of Fish. 

y ISHNOO Imving been incarnate in the form of a fish, is worshijiped on certain oc«; 
casions^ or rather a form of praise is repeated in honour of this incarnation* 

In the preceding account of Ganga it wiQ also be seen, Chat thelumy tribes of that 
river are worshipped at the festivals in honour of this goddess. 

I am informed, lowever, that female Hindoos, residing on the banks of the Pad- 
mu, on the 5th of the increase of the moon in Maghu, actually worship the IKsbn fisb, 
when they first arrive in the river, with the usualx^eremouies^ and after that partake 
of them without the fear of injuring their health. 

PO HISTORY, LITERATURE, iiJi d RELIGION, [Paet tti. Chap. t. 

SEcnox xcr» 

Worship of Booh ^ 

THE Hindoos bave deified their shastras, which, on different occasions, tRej wor* 
riiip with the same ceremonies as an idol, anointing the book with perfumes^ and 
adorning it with garlands* 

At the reading of any part of the v^das, the Chundee, and other work8,'the book to 
be read is always addressed as an idol. At such times the worshipper thus prays to 
tiie book : ^* Oh I' book ! thou art the goddess of learning, bestow learning upon me.^ 

When an individual employs a bramhon to recite to hi»fiim3|y and nei^bours the 
Miihabharutn, Ramayunn, Shree-bhagayotu, or any other poorano, the worship of 
the work recited is performed on the first and last days at considerable length, many 
offerings being prestuted ; each day ^s recitsdis also preceded by a riiort service paid 
to the book. 

At the festival in honour of the goddess Soruswatee ai^ one of the shastrSs is 
adopted and worshipped, joined with the pen and inkrstand. 

The followers of Yishnoo, and especiaHy flie mendicant voiragee8,^pay a still great- 
er reverence than the regular Hindoos, to the books they esteem sacred. These 
books relate to the amours of Krishnu, or to the mendicants Choitonyu and Nitya- 

A book placed on a goldoi throne and presented to a bramhun is a very meriton^ 
dus gift. 

Of pj^ifibd stones.} OFTHEHINDOOS. SSI 


Worship qf Stones. 

The Shalgramu.*^ 

THIS is the cetites, or eftgle^-stone^ of which thereis a great variety, and to which 
manj virtues were ascribed by the ancients. When I shewed a picture of the eagle* 
stone to a bramhnn who was sitting with me, without informing him what it was, he* 
^xdaimed — ^ This is the Shalgrama*/and added, ( jocularly )-«^ Oh I then^ English* 
men will be saved, aS' they have the shalgramu amongst them/ 

This stone, black, hollow, and nearly round, is said to bebrought from mount Gun-- 
4uke5, in Napaul. It is added, that in this mountain there are multitudes of insects 
which perforate the masses of stone, so that pieces fidl into the river Gondiihu in the 
Aape of Ae shalgramn^ from whence they are taken with nets. Common ones are 
about as large as a watch.. They ave valued according to their size, their hollowness^ 
and Ae colours in the inside, and from these circumstances they are called by different 
names. The chief sorts are called Lnkshmge-Narayanu,Rtfghoonat'hu, Lnkshmee^ 
Junarduno, Yamuno, Damodara,f &c. These different shalgramOs are worshipped 
under their different names.^ The first is sometimes sold for as much as two thou* 
•and Toopee^^ The Hindoos have a notion that whoever keeps in his house this 
celebrated stone, and a shell called dukshina«vortu,:( can never become poor; but 

* From dwr6 and gramS, whidi iadicatei tint this stone makes the place excellent in wUch it is preserr^ 
td, as the M&habharfitfi is said to purify the placet in which it is read : hence bramh&ns are forbidden to enter 
a Tillage where the Mi S hahhaF fttli la not found, as sacb place is prononnced nnclean. 

^ Hie Hindoos say, that this last shalfiamii requires lai^e .offerings of food to be presented to it, and that w 
bnuahiin who had begged one of them, and neglected to feed it snlficiently, was brought to ruin, thi&god bavisg 
swept away nearly his whole fiunily by dea(b. Many stories of this kind are related of this stone. Though a 
liagle grain of rice was never kn»wn to be eaten by an image, yet the Hindoos firmly believe this and similar 
ilorics against all the evidence of their senses tor hundreds of years together. Gopalft, a learned bramhrin cm«^ 

ployed in the Serampore printingNoffiee, declared that one of these stones had been placed in his house by a re* 
latiott who attributed Us fiunjly misfortunes to its powers. 

t AafacUtbeGonTolBtioasof whichtvstotheright. ViduoolssaidtoholdasbellofthiskiBdiaUibaRdr 

222 HISTORY, LITERATURE, a»d RELIGION, {Pabt hi. Chap. i. 

' lat the veiy day in whicb any one parts with one of them, he wiDi begin to sink into 
poverty. Almost every respectable bramhiin keeps a shalgramo, as do some shoodros* 
The bramhiin who does not keep one is repro^hed hj his neighbours. 

The reason why this stone has been deified is thus given in the Shree-bhagrivtSta : 
Yishnoo created the nine planets to preside over the fates of men« Shanee (Saturn) 
commenced his reign bj proposing to BrQmha, that he should &Tsi come under his 
influence for twelve years. Brfimha referred him to Yishnoo, but this god, equally 
averse to be brought under the dreaded influence of this inauspicious planet, desir- 
ed Saturn to call upon him the next day, and immediately assumed the form of a 
mountain. The next day Saturn was not able to find Yishnoo, but discovering 
that he had united himself to mount Gundiikee, hi* entered the mountain in the form 
of a worm called vujru-keeta.* He continued thus to afflict the mountain-formed 
Yishnoo for twelve years, when Yishnoo assumed his proper shape, and commanded 
that the stones of this mountain should be w^orshipped^ and should become proper 
representatives of himself; adding, that each should have twenty-one marks in it, 
similar to those on his body^ and that its namjs should be shalgramiu 

The worship of any of the gods may Tie performed before the shalgramu, and it is 
often adopted as the representative of some god. It claims no national festival, 
but is placed near the image worshipped, and first receives the devotions of the Hin- 
doos. The shalgramQis also worshipped daily by the bramhuns, after morning ablu- 
tions : They first bathe or wash the stone, reading the formulas, and then offer flow- 
ers, white lead, incense, light, sweetmeats, and water, repeating incantations : the 
offerings, after remaining before it a short time, are eaten by the fiimily. In the 
evening, incense, light, and sweetmeats, are offered, preceding which a bell is rung^ 
and a shell blown 3 and the whole is closed by the priest's jirostrating himself be- 
fore the stone* 

During the month Yoishaka^bramhons 8ii8peiidapant>f water every day over the 
•8halgramn,a9id, through a small hole at the bottom, let the water &11 on it, to pre- 

• Literally, the thander-bolt worm. 

Of dbifibd groMs.} OF T H E H I N D O O S. 


ficrvfr k eo<* duriog Ais month, which is one of the hottest in the year. This wa- 
ter is caught in anotherpan placed beneath, and drank in the evening as holj water. 
Whea the countly is in great want of rain, a bramhiin in some instances pkces the 
shalgramii in the burning sun^ and sits down by it repeating incantations. Burn- 
ing the god iathe sun is said to be a sure way of obtaining rain» 

Some persons when sick enq>1oy a bramhon to present single leaves oFthe toolosee 
plant, sprinkled with red powder,, to the shalgrama, repeating incantations. A 
hundred thousand leaves are sometimes presented.. It is said that the sick man gra*^ 
dually recovers as eveiy additional leaf is offered. When a Hindoois at the point of 
death, a bramhtin. shews him the marks of the shalgramu^ the sight of which is said 
to secure the soul a safe passage to YishnooV heaven. 

In a worL called Sfaalgvamu-nimuya an account is given of the proper names of 
the different shalgraraus ; the benefits arising firom their worship; the kinds of shal- 
gramas proper to be kept by persons in a secukp state, and also by the religious.. 

A separate room> or house, or a particular spot in* the room where the fiunily 
dwell, is assigned to this god. Some persons keep one, others ten, others a hun- 
dred, and some even as many as a. thousand of these stones*. 

The shalgramn is rendered impure by the ttracB of'a shoodru,* and in such cases 
must be purified by rubbing it ovter with cow-dung*, cow's urine, milk, ghee, and 
eurds. If a small part of the shalgramn be broken off*, the owner commits it to the 
river. The bramhuns sell these stones, buttraflScking in^images is dishonourable* 

[The fflialgramn is the only stone deriviiig its deity firom itself : all other stones 

worshipped are made sacredby incantations. For an account of them see a sue* 
ceeding article relative to the Hindoo images.] 

«" So Me all otker iaaages tliat bave been cdinecnted. 

82 1 HISTORY, LITERATURE, ▲» RELIGION, [Paet ni. Cfffr. !• 

A log of Wood worshiped. 

The Pedal. 

THIS is a roHgh piece of wood, (termed dhenkee) generally the trunkof a tree, 
l>alanced on a pivot, with a head something like a mallet ; it is used to separate the. 
rice from the husk, to pound brick-dust for buildings, &c. A person stands at the 
farther end, and with his feet presses it down, which raises up the head, after which 
he lets it fidl on the rice, or brick-ends. One of these pedals is set up at almort 
every house in country places. 

The origin of this worship is thus given : A religions guide being called upon to 
give the initiating incantation to one of his disciples, commanded him to repeat the 
word dhenkee, dhenkee. Naradu, the god of the dhenkee, pleased with the d^ 
ciple, visited him, riding on the pedal, and gave him, as a blessing, another incan* 
tation, by wluch he immediaiely became perfect, and ascended to heaven* 

The pedal is worshipped at the time of marriage, of investiture with the poita, of 
giving the first rice to a ichild, and at any other particular time of rejoicing. The 
women are the worshippers. It is also worshipped in the month Voishakhu by all 
casts of females, not excepting the wives of the most learned bramhiins, who con- 
secrate it by putting red, white, or yellow paint, and also some rice, doorva grass^ 
and oil, on its head. 

About twenty years ago, the raja of Ndlu-danga, Miih£ndru-deva<^rayu, spent 
300,000 roopees in a grand festival in honour of this log of wood. At the close of 
the festival, the raja took a firebrand, and set all the gijided scenery on fire, and 
thus finished this scene of expensive folly and wickedness. 


I ( 


86CTI0N L 

Of the Temples. 

THE Hindoo temples in Bengal, though diluent iii slutpe, are nearly of the same 
description of architecture : they are very inferior, it b true, to the sao-ed edifices 

^ • • • » 

in Europe ; but some of these buildings are in a better style than might have bees 
aspeoled from a people so little advanced in the arts. 

The MitnSriy^ dedicsftedto thefingfi, is a double roofed tjraihicliuildfaig, the bodhf 
square, but the upper part short and tapering to a point. It contains one, two, 
three, or more rooms, about three cubits by (bur, inth m porch in front for specta- ' 
tors. The center room contains the Knga, in the others are placed the utensils for 
'worship, the offerings, ftc.--5mall sqnare temples for the Bngo, with flat roofs, are 
'erected in rows fiuSng the houses of rich men, orliefore a college, a consecrated pool 
'of water, another temple, t»r a flight of steps descending into the river. Similar' 
temples in honour of OOneshu are to be seen in some places. Very small temples 
fSke the Mfiadiro, only three, or five cubits high, and containing a lingu about a foot 


itt height, have been erectedat Benares. 


The Dloola^ temples, sacred to Jugnnnathli, rise from the foundation in a gradual 
^ope like a sugar loaf^ with an iron image of Goroortt on the pinnacle. These 

^smpleS) made ofbricki are iscended by a fiight «f ^eps, and contain only one room, 


The P&mfhfl'ratnfiX temple hsis two » three rooms, and a single arched roof, wfth* 
a large pinnacle or turret on the dorae^ and a smaller one.on each corner. It is dedi«^ 

MnodiHI moiw aaj edifice of brick or tlone i tst cmtoai bat ftppropriated it almoit ezcloriYely to the 
Implei •( tetlagl t Covnpted fiptm d< valay«, i. e. dferi^ a god, sitty&, « tone. t Hat lag fire iMKtar 


S2d HISTORY, LITERATURE, and R£L1GI0I«, [Pabt hi. Chav. ii. 

cated to fhe different forms of Yishnoo, as Radha-bmabfa9| Gopalu, Mudana-mo* 
hunn^ Govindhu, &c. The temple called NHvH-RiUnily* dedicated also to the iRiri« 
ous forms of Vishnoo, has a double roof like the M ondira, with a small turret <m 
each eomer of the lower roofi, and on the upper one a larger turret to crown the 
dome. It oHitains four or five rooms. At Ugru-dweepa, the temple of Geopea-nat'ha 
has different houses attached to it ; one for cooking;^ another for the utensils used inr 
worship ; another is a store-house for the offerings, and two others are open rooms 
fpr the accommodation of visitpra and devotees*^ 

• • 

,.The Vishno<hmilndiru, having one room^ with a portico ia front, i»a flat-roofed 
building, erected either within cr without the wall which encloses a Hindoo house^ 
or at a little distance from the owner's house, and sometimes bj the side of the Gan« 
gpS) when tlie person's house is near the river. A few teaoples may be seen, ha¥« 
ing three rooms,, one of which is the god's hall of audience^ another his dining room^ 
Ufkd the third his room for sleeping. 


, Another kind of temple, with a flat roof, is often erected bjr rich Hindoos- adjoining 
to their houses, and called Chundce-miUidupily and is designed for the image of Doorga 
qr Kalei. This is built on four sides, with an area in the middle. The imugfi ia 
placed at the north end with its face to the south ; the two sides,, and the north end, 
ii^ most cases, contain upper rooms with porticos beneath. The room which <^ntain9 
the image is about ten cubits long and sixteen broad ; the other rooms are open in 
front with arched doorways ; and in these the visitors sit to see the ceremonies of 
worship, hear the jsingingy&c. ^ 

. The Yorii'bangala is made like two thatched houses or bapgalas^ placedside to side,^ 


and has what is called in England a double-pitched roof^ generally covered witktilea 
€Xt bricks. The front is open without doors. These temples fve dedic^ed to diQEsrfnt 
gods, but are not now frequently built in Bengal. 

* Having oine Uurreti. 



*' Tbe Hindoos ha^e another sacred edifice, called RasH'^miinchiif in which the im- 
age of Krtshaft* is annually placed and worshipped. This bnilding ip octagonal, with 
eight torrets at the cornera, and a steeple in the centre supported by pillars, iind 
consists of one room, open on all sides and elevated five or six feet firom the ground. 
"Oh the nigllts of tike rasa festival' the image is brought and placed in this etevated 
open room, there worshipped, and afterwards carj;ied back to the temple adjoining to 
the owner's house. The Dol&'fninchit is ^ similar buildiog^ but is.sometimes made 

\ A great number of small clay and thatched buildingsare erectedin Bengal, in wUdi 
the images of Siddheshwar^, Krishna, Ramii,' &c« are set up. The xoois of theap 
bufldings are slojpiiig like tbe huts of the poor in furope. 

Images of some of the inferior deities are placed under trees, and these tsees ber 
come as it were temples for worship. 

. In some few .townsa number of different tenses are-buik in a square. lonce sair 
uDivalujfil of this kind at Chanchra, in Jessore, whidi contains twenty-one temples 
and as many gods. One thousand acr^s of ground are attached to Ais place ; one 
bramhon performs the ceremonies ; six others cook for these gods ; four others ga- 
ther ilowerSj and bring the articles for the daily worship. Nimaee-mollika, a gold- 
smith of Calcutta, built and endowed this place. Similar d^valujms are to be seen at 
Krishnii-nagarD,* Gonga-vasu,* Shiyij-nivasn,* Bqr5ha-nugnru,+ Natorfi,+ Poont6,f 
Somra,^ Bh'jo-koilasu, Goopta-para, and at many other.plajces in bengal. — Raja 
Chiindru-rayii, ofPatalee, is said to have built two hundred of these d^valuyus^ at 
each of which two or three hundred people are daily fed. The relict of raja Tilukfi- 
chilndru, of Burdwan, erected one hundred and eight temples in one plain, and placed 

* Vkette belong to Qii€c|IHi;ChQiidrfi, the ny* Nfi?fi^wSq)Q. f Tliii Ant place ii in MoonhCdabadV, 

aa4 belMiKi to njm YMhooMU'litt, as does that at Natortt. % This belongi to n^a BboovfiafirrhajLOorfi. 

i lUsplMsitthepfoiiertyoflUai-iSskQrtpfmjSfaToidTS, CcS 

.^288 HISTORY, LITERATURE, hv^ RELIGION,. [Pi^rr ttt. Cmv. m 

ia them as many images of the lingo, attaching to^ them deven bramhons and inferi*^ 
or servants, and endowing, the temples with estatestathe ajnount of. the wage^qC 
the attendants.. 

Before many temples is seen a roof^ eupportedUy piITars,. nnder whidi portions of * 
(he shastrns are recited or sung, and at other time»-animal3 for sacrifice slaughter^ 
od* In general, howiever,. the singing and dancing at the fisstivals^ake place under- 
an awning in theopei^ air^ near some temple^ or near the-person^s house who bears- 
the e%pense.. The* long periods oTdiy weather in. this dimate render this practica- 
ble ; nor would the* heat allow of sudi large* assemblies meeting in houses^ even if' 
buildings suflSciently large-couldbe-constructed.. This accounts for the Hindoo tem^ 
pies being s6 small in the inside : many of them, especially those^of the lingu, are' 
only large enough to contain, the image,, the oflEerings,, the utensils of worship, ismd. 
ibe oflkiating priests^. 

Much ofthewealtb oftheHindbo kings was<(brmeTty.espend^mbiiildiiig:teni^ 
pies, and supporting. qplendid. festivals. A^ present,.those whoerect these temples 
in Bengal are principally the head-servants of Europeans^. who*agpn^riate parto£ 
liieir gains to these acts of supposed ment.^' 

The expence of erecting one of these temples,.ira sfngle roomj amounts to about^ 
two hundred roopees, and the wagesand daily offerings to one image,.are about three- 
roopees per month. Some give thebramhua who officiates twelveanas, andothers* 
a roopee^montUy, with his food and clothes^ S6metimes Iheoffertngs aregiven* 
to him,, but inv other cases they are- presented tO'thebrambuns of the* village 'alter<» 
]|iately, and the priest has money given him in thetrstead.. 'Shese-offerings fre«^ 
quently consist of a pound of rice, a pint of milk,, half an ounce of sugai^ and two* 
plantains.. The quantity,. bowever^is>iiotpre8cribed;' and btherlhings are added by 
the wealthy^ 

• ThecapitoT, ortempD^t>f Jiu»i(epGApi^toifh«s,,wwimcMd4|ihcoaseq!iciice of a-vowmaieby l^rquiiiMS- 
in the Sablae war.. 



Dedicatum of Temples^ 

WHEN a Hindoo lias erected a temple^ he appoints a day to dedieate it to some 
god. The following account of the dedication of one hundred and eight temples 
to Shivn, some years ago, at Talito, in the district of Burdwan, by the mother of 
Tejnsb-chundFQ, the raja of Burdwan^ will give an idea of the manner in which this- 
ceremony v$ performed^. 

The fSundatfon of these fempTes Befng aBout to Be fafd, a place was dug m tfie 
earth about a cubit square^ into which water was poured, and a brick placed in the 
hole, after which the worship of the houshold god (VishnooVof ¥aBOonn, and the 
MngD, was performed.. M the doseof the worship, a flower was thrown into the 
water, the floating of whieh to the right was consideFsd as a goodomen,, and decided 
the poinithai the temple should be raised on thai spot^ Ihe following prayer wa» 

then addnsaed tathis hrick^ ^ As long as the earth and the mountains vema^ so 
long do thou- lemain unmoveaUe^T After the temples were nearly finished^ many 
kiamhuna and the relations of theqiieen weae initiled^ and ottaii aospkious day the 
eeremonjp of GOBsecvation was- performed*. An altar was raised before each temple, 
^d f9U£ pfiioa^ chorea for ea«b aUwr, wiio punfyingthem,, pesforaied theworehip 
of the five gods,* the nine planets^ the ten gnaiidiB& defties of the earth, and of 8hi4 
t3, Yishnoo,. and Doorga«. To this succeeded the buint^^acrifioe. €)ne hundred and 
eight officiating pMesisthe» eelelmtod the worship of Shino whilesiltiogatthedooie 
of the temples^ A person,.in thenameof theq^ieen^ next made aipreseni to the 
Guilder, and hinted to him that she now w^hed to eonsecrate Itese temples t<^ Shi- 
Tu.. Ihe trident of Shiva waa neaet worshqsped'^ and flxed oi» the steeple; The 
princess then, sitting m an indosure below the steps of one of the temples, in the 
presence of one oflhe priests and her attendants^ devoted these iempfes to Shiva, say- 
ing,,* O Sfakii 1 1 present to theethese onehundred and eighrteni[de8, madeof bctdb:: 

Britaite,.Vi8baM,^M,X%Babtt,jiiid SCof^fi. 

230,^ HISTOllY, LITERATURE, IKD RELIGION, [Paet in. Chap. it. 

May I be rewarded with an everlasting; residence in heaven.' In making this offer" 
ing, a number of minute ceremonies took place. The pirincess next sent one of her 
relatives to perform the .worship of Indrii near a bamboo bearing a trident with a flag 
fastened thereto. The same person, after professing to animate one hundred and 
ejght wooden images of the bull, worshipped them, and plficed them in the temples 
thus dedicated. A representative of the princess next walked, round the temples 
three times. The princess herself began to perform.the ceremony of circumambula- 
tiop, but being v^ry, corpylent she resigned it to one of the priests.-^One hundred and 
eight priests, bringmg garlands* and the other articles used in worship, now perform^ 
ed the worship of the lingo in the temples. At the dose of these ceremonies, the 
princess presepted a iu>opee to ^ch of the four hundred and thirtj-two officiating 
bramhuns, and one hundred and .eight roopees to her own private priests who also 
qbtain^ the offerings. She alqp presented tweLveikinds of Shivqi, among 
which were vessels of gold, silyery and other metals, cloths, Scfi* An entertainment 
to the bramhdns succeeded, and at length the guests .were dismissed avith presents 
fi*om among the offerings, or .in monej, .from ten to fifty roopees iCach bgamhotL ^Ont 
Jiundred thous^^ irciopees, it is said, were ejqiended upon these buildingSit 

' 'The ceremonies are nearly similar to the above mhm idols are dedicated and «el 
vp in temples ; when pools or trees are consecrated to the public use ; when can 
are presented lo some. god ; «nd when a pesson is finishing the teranonies of « vrii^ 

* At tlM time of wofiAip^e priest alwajrs puff opoBthtf linage a ^Uad of llowefg. Hib fteeuM to hate 
%eak pndhti aiaoBg other id^laton, for when the pdeit of JopUer cameto wonhip Buil and Baniabat, (Acti 
xiv. IS.) he braa^t ozeo aod garlao^ No doabt.the latter were ioleaded to be pat apoa the he^ or«e^ 
St the apostle and hts companion, the persons aboat to be wonhipped. 

f T4U-chlsdrii has siooe bailt out haadred sad e%ht temples, at tTmbika, sad dedkatedllMrfa AM. 

JSnmwm&nt of TSMPi^Ba.} &r THS H IK DO OK* £91 

. tEOnON HZ. 

Endowment of Temples* 

TKE.worship in some temples i&conducted, and tbe offerings supplied, bj the &• 
mify wHich lias erected the tempTe ; but in others by a hired bramhon, who receives 
tnonttiljr wages : the offerings are in general distributed among the bramhiins of the 

To a temple particnlarly celebrated, ricli men make grants of houses, sometimes 
'«f whole villages r and of laitdsi orciuirds, pookj &c. to a large amount'; and this 
produce of these grants is applied tb Ae uses of the temple* 


The temple of Radha-baDnlSha at BGIlobhu-pooro, about twelve miles North of 
Calcutta, has been endowed with laif dd, houses, &c. and to the annual amount of 8000 
roopees, bj Raja Nuvo-Krishnu, which is divided among sixteen fiimilies ofbramhuns. 

The tempfe of Jngunnatiifi at Xfuh^shn, about the same dfstance from Calcutta; 
has been endowed with lands, &c. to the annual amount of 1400 roopees^ by Raja 

The temple of GopS-nat'ho at Ugro-dwSpff been endowed with lands, &e. to 
Die annual amount of 6 or 7000 roopees by Raja Krishno-Chundca^RayQ. 

9 • 

The temple of Jugnnnat'hn in Orissa has been endowed by several rich Hindoos : 
Raja Ram-Krishno-devQ gave two villages, the rents of which luring in about 4600 
roopees annually ; Nimoo-raulliku of Calcutta gave daily one roopee, or 365 annu- 
ally ; and his children continue the donation. Other rich men make similar annual 
presents. It is supposed that not less than 100,000 roopees a year are drawn from 
Ae Hindoos by the bramhnns of this temple. 



Of the Images* 

THE images of the Hindoo goda are made either of gold, stiver, qukluilver mix« 
ed with the powder of tin, brass, copper, iron, mixed metal,* crystal, stone, woodp 
or clay.t The common workmen in gold, silver, luaass, &c« viake tiiese images* 

The images made of gold are generallj thos^ of Doorga, LdkshmS, Radba> Krish- 
na, and Suraewuteo, which are kept in private houses, and worshipped daily. These 
images must not be less tn weight than one tolo; j: they are general]^ three or four* 

The image of i^Stnla is often made of silver, kept in ihe housei and worshippei 
daily. It is as heavy as ten or twelve roopees. 

The images ef Shkn only are made of quicksilver and crystid. They are very 
small, and are kept in the houses of the rich^ and used for daify worship. 

Small bracen images of many ef the gods are kept in private houses and worships 
ped daily« These are very small, weighing only an ounce or two. 

Very smaU copper images of SSSryo, and of Shiva riding om a buB, are pre8erve4 
in private houses, and worshiipped daily^ 

•■ t 

The images of mixed metal are those of Radha, Doorga, Liikshmee, SUvd, M! 

• Containing, ai the Hladoaf «iy , eiglit ingredients, via. golfl, sihrcr, tin, copper, iron, sink, lead, and biaai. 
-f Hie ihastrib allow images to bt maAe of no otker sulratances tlian these. The image of Shlbee done is made 
oTiroo. , . ' 

t Three tolib are rather-anra thaa one onnce. Ai Kidderport, adjoining to Calcatla, is a goldea laiage ot 
Pfititft^pavtuwe, two cnbito U||k. Near 6ennvM« « a goldealffli^eof jagndhalvee, abaatacabit and a half 



The images of aajr of the gods naj be laadeivitli this niized metal; and may bewor- 
ehipped either in private liouses or in temples* 

The images of all the godsaihid goddesses may be made of stone ^, the greater num- 
ber are placed in temples ; a few small ones are found in private houses. All images 
of rtone are worshipped daily : the greater number are of the lingu, or the various 
forms of Vishnoo. A few exist of the lingu nine or twelve cubits high.* The men* ^ 
^icant followers of Yishnoo carry small images of Krishnn with them in their peri- 
^inations, which are from one to two cubits high : All the stone images in Bengal are ' 
of black marble; but there are some at Benares whicJi are white. The sculpture on 
these stones is in much the same state of perfection as that to be seen in the oldest 
churches in England. These stones are brought into Bengal from the upper pro- 
vinces, and cut by men who are to be found in all the great towns, and to whom it 

is an employment. Some stone images are miraculously found under ground, t See 
page 160. 

The nimbii^ tree supplies the images of Yishnoo in his different forms ; also of 
Doorga, Radha, Lukshmee, Shivu, Garooru, ChoitBnyn, &c. None of the wood^i 
images are kept in private houses, but in separate temples* They are generally 
from one to three cubits in height. 

. \ All the images which, after worship, are thrown into the water, are of day baked 
in the sun, about four cubiU high : The images of the lingn made daily and worship- 
ped, are immediately thrown away. In some places day images of Kartiku, twenty 
one cubits high, are set up, and after the festival committed to the river. The images 
of Doorga, SiddhishwrirS, Unnii-pooma, Krishnn, Punchanuno, Shfist'hS, Montfsa, 
Dukshina-raya, &c. are however constantly preserved in temjaes. The Hindoo pot- 
ters are the prindpal god-makers, though many other casts, and even Mosiamans fol- 

• An image of (he lingtt is set up at Benara which six men can hardl j gn$p. 

+ An image of Cybele is said to have fallen flfwrnhcaren into acertala field In Phrygia. 

t MeiiaaaaaanuditB. j^ . 

ftSi HISTORY, LITERAXURE, and RELIGION^. [Part iii. Chaf. ii. 

loir this emplojmeiit. The maker first takes a board, and raises upon it a Ultle frame 
work, to which he fiistens bamboos covered with straw, for the back bone, the arms^ 
legs, &c. Round these he lays clay mixed with cow-dung, chaff and straw, which he 
suffers to dry ; having made the head of day, he lays it to dry, and afterwards joins' it 
io the trunk very carefully. He again clothes the body, arpas, and legs, with more 
cow-dung and clay, and covers the whole with a doth, that it may not crack. When 
ready, he carries it to the person's house who may have ordered it, and, according to 
the size, obtains two, four, seven, or eight roopees for it. Sometimes the maker paints 
it at his own house, which costs two, three, four, or five roopees more. 

The evening before the consecration, the person at whose temple this image is to 
be set up, brings twenty-two different articles, among which are fruits, flowers, gold, 
sUver, rice, a stone, turmerick, sugar, cow-dung, darified butter, a shell, peas, red 
powder, &c. With all these things the officiating bramhiin touches the forehead 
and other parts of the image, repeating incantations. This Is called Tidhivasu, or 
inviting the goddess to come and dwell in the image. The next day eyes and a sold, 
(pranu) are given. No one reverences the image till this work-is done. 

' When an image of Doorga is to be consecrated, in addition to the above ceremo- 
nies, a plantain tree is brought, and bathed either in the house or in the river. At 
this time the service occupies about an hour, after which the tree is dothed like a 
woman, with two vilwn fruits for breasts; and nine sorts of leaves, smeared with red 
paint, are hung round the neck. The trees from which these leaves are taken, are 
said to have assisted in different wars the deities whose images accompany that of 
Doorga : * The Hindoo shastrhs make no hesitation in giving tongues to stones, or 
making trees into soldiers. It may be allowed in a romance ; yet the modern Hin- 
doos are silly enough to believe most gravely that aU this is the veiy truth. They 
say. Why not? God can do every thing. "" 

If a woman, a dog, or a shoodra, touch an image, its godship is destroyed, and the 
ceremonies of deification must be again performed. A day image if thus defiled 
must be thrown away. There are degrees of impurity imparted by the touch of 
differeui animals. Breaking the hand or foot of an image is an evil omen. If 


aD image be unequal Jn anj of its parts, or if the eyes be made to look upwards or 
downwards, and not straight forwards, something evil will befall the owner. If it be 
set up with ease, the spectators declare, that the god himself is pleased. 


Godship of Images tried. — By performing a ceremony called shora, it is imagined, 
a person may obtain the power of ascertaining whether the deity dwell in an image 
or not. In this ceremony, which must be repeated during fifteen days and nights, 
the devotee bathes an image of the goddess Yipareetri-prntyungira, with milk, curds, 
clarified butter, cow dung, and cow^s urine ; worships it, having on red garments, 
and repeats the initiating incantation of this goddess ten thousand times. In the 
night, he walks round the image, in a triangular manner, one hundred and eight times, 
prostrating himself after every circumambulation. On the last day, the ceremonies are 
continued to a greater extent, and the burnt-sacrifice is added. "WTien such a person 
bows to an image, if the deity dwell not in it, it will break in pieces. A person of 
Krishnu-nugoru is mentioned as having obtained this power; he bowed to an image of 
MadanQ-Mohflnu, at Vishnoo-poorn, when the image became bent in the neck, and 
continues so to this day. At Reboona, a village near Balasore, several stone images 
are said to have been broken by a man named Kalaparhu, who bowed to them* 


-236 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part iii. Chap. ii. 


Of the Priests. 

THE Poorokiltl. — Every bramhun may perform the ceremonies of hia religion. 
The priest, called a poorohita, is, however, called in to assist in the shraddhn, the 
ten ceremonies called sungskara, in those aCt the offering of a temple, at the different 
vratus, at the festivals, and at a burnt sacrifice, and he Is sometimes called to fast, 
and bathe, in the name of another. A man of property, in some cases, unwilling 
to fast himself, gives his poorohita a roopee to do it for him ; and, in the cold wea- 
ther, he gives him a fee, to bathe for a month and perform the ceremonies connect- 
ed with bathing, instead of himself. Some rich men retain a family priest, who re- 
ceives the fees and separate presents of cloth, sweetmeats, rice, fruits, &c. as his re- 

Any br£lmhnn, who is acquainted with the different formulas of worship, may be- 
come an officiating priest. In some cases, one person is priest to a thousand fami- 
lies; but he employs assistants, and gives them a stipulated share of the perquisites. 
If the priest do not arrive in time, or if he blunder in performing the ceremonies, the 
person employing him reproves him. When several families have the same priest, 
and wish to perform certain ceremonies on the same day, the priest is sure to offend, 
and never fails to be told of his partiality to one family, and neglect of the other. 
These priests are generally very avaricious^ and take care to have their full share 
of the presents at the close of a ceremony. The amount of the fees depends upon the 
ability and generosity of the person who employs the priest ; who is not unfrequent- 
ly very much dissatisfied with what he receives, and complains to otherSj that '' the 
duties at such a man's house are Very heavy, but that he gives only a very trifling 
fee, and no more of the offerings than a crow might eat." This man subsists upon 
the fees and offerings, engaging in no other employment. 

The higher orders despise a bramhnn who becomes priest to shoodrys, and refuse 

Of THB raiBsn.] OF THE HINDOOS. S37 

to Ml Willi hiin* Such a person can oidj be priest to one cast, and b called the 
joiners* bramhttn, or the blacksmiths* bramhun^ &e. 

The jogeSs (mostly weavers)^ the chandalfis, and the basket-makers^ have priests 
of thiar own casts^ and not from among the bramhons* 

The shaslraa pomt out the proper qualifications of a poondiito, whidi are simil 
to those of a spiritual guide, mentioned in a following article* Some enjoy this o(^ 
fice by hereditary succession* When a person, unme<Uately after the performance of » 
religious ceremony in his fiunily, meets with success in his connections or business, he 
not nnfrequently attributes his prosperity to his priest, and rewards him t^ liberal 
presents. On the other hand, if a person sustain a loss after en^loy ing a new priest, 
he lays it at the door of the priest. If at a Uoody sacrifice the slayer happen to &il ia 
cutting oflTthe head at one blow, the priest is blamed for having made some blunder 
in the ceremonies, and thus produdng^ this fiital disaster* 

The Achar^. — The person who tanght theT^das used to be called acfaaiyu ; m^ 
at present the bramhan who reads a portion of them at the time ofinyestiture with 
the poita, is called by this name % z» well as the person who reads the formularies at 
a sacrifice. This latter person is generally the poorohitn, but he then assumes the 
name of acharyo^ . A considerable number of bramhiias are qualified to discharge 
the duties of an adiaryu^ and any one thus'qualified may perform them, without any 

previous consecration or i^)pointment.^ Twenty or thirty roopees is the amount mS 
the fee of the achaiyn at festivals^ 

The SUdSskyu.— The Sadiishyo regulates the ceremonies of worship, but is not 
employed on all occasions; he is however generally engaged at the festivals ; at tUe 
,first shraddho aler a person^s death ; at the dedication of images, temples, ilights^ 
of steps, ponds, &c. At the reading^ of the pooranus also, he attends, and points 
out where the reading or the copy is defective. He receives a fee often or fifteen 
roopees ; and, sometimes as much as one hundred and fifty .^ On extraordinary occa- 
sions, five or ten sudoshyos are employed* 


The Bramha sHs near tb« $re at th« time of a burnt-ofibring, and supplies it with 
wood. The Tee to this person is five roopees ia cases where the Sudushyu receives 
fifteen; to which is added a gift of rice^ &c. 

The Hota throws the clarified butter on the fire in the burnt- oflferlng, repeating 
the proper formulas. He receives the same fee as the acharjn. 

, The fijur last^nbentioned persons divide the offerings presented to Ugnee ; and are 
. worshipped at the .commencement of a sacrifice, when nngs, poitas, clothes, seats of 
, cloth or wood, pillows,* awnings, brass and copper vessels, &c. are presented to 


The Hindoo priests wear their usual dress during the performance of any cere* 

Other priests, — A number of persons are employed as assistants to the priests : as, 

* theVaroo, who gathers flowers to present to the image, sweeps the temple, &c. The 
person who buys and collects the things for the oflTerings is called Udhikaree ; he wlro^ 

. performs the ceremonies of worship is called Poojtika ; he who cooks for the image, 

' Pachokii ; he who recites the poorann in an assembly is called Pat'hnka ; he u ho holds 

the book and corrects the reading and the copy, Dharuku; he who hears the words as 

the representative of the person who is to enjoy the merit arising from the hearing of 

• -these stories, is called Shrota; and he who repeats in the evening the meaning of 
frhat has been read in the day, Kot'hnka. 

« Tkt rich Hindoos sit with a large pillow placed at their backs. 

Or THE iroMfitP iir TEitrus.] OF THE HINDOOS. S99 


Of the Worship in Temples^ 

THE dailj ceremonieg in the temples erected in honour of Shira are as follows :' 
In the morning the officiating bramhun^ after bathing, enters the temple,* and bows 
to Shiva. He then anoints the image with clarified butter or boiled oil,f after which, 
be bathes the image with water which has not been defiled by the touch of a shoo- 
dra, nor of a bramhoD who ham not performed his ablutions, by pouring water on it, 
and afterwards wipes it with a napkin* He next grinds some white powder in water, 
and, dipping theends of his three fore-fingers in it, draws them across the lingn, 
marking it as the worshippers of Shiva mark their foreheads. He next sits down 
before the image, and, shutting his eyes, meditates on the work he is commencing ; 
then places rice and dSorva grass on the lingu ; next a flower on his own head and 
then on the top of the lingii ; then another flower on the linga ; then others, one by 
<me, repeating incantations ; he then places white powder, flowers, vilwu leaves, in« 
cense, meat oflerings, and a lamp before the image ; also some rice and a plantain ; 
he next repeats the name of Shivu, with some forms of praise, and at last prostrates 

himself before the image. These ceremonies, in the hands of a secular person, are 
concluded in a few minutes ; a person who has sufficient leisure spends an hour in 

ihem. In the evening the officiating brarohtin goes again to the temple, and after 


washing his feet, &c. prostrates himself before the door ; then opening the door,^ he 
places in the temple a lamp, and, as an evening oblation, persents to the image a 
little milk, some sweetmeats, firuits, &c. when, fidling at the feet of the image, he 
locks the door and comes away* 

At the temple of Shivil, on the 14th of the increase of the moon in Phalgoonu, in 

* Pulling off hU dioes at (he bottom of the steps. 

■f The Greeks tts^ to Smear the statues of their gods wifh ointments, and adorn them with garlands. 

 J 1( ib reported of some Hindoo saints, tiiat irhen they irent to a temple to awake the god, while repeating 
(he words of (he shastru used on these occasions, the doors always flew open of themselves, miiiMUag M of tlia 
European soperstition, that ^ the temple of Cybele was opened not by hands, but by prayers/ 

210 HISTORTi LITERATURE, ANtf RELIGION, . [Pa at m. Ga a». ii. 

the nighty a festival in honour of Shivu is kept : the image is bathed four times, and 
four separate serrices performed during the night. Before the temple, the woT" 
shippers dance, sing, and revel all night, amidst the horrid din of their music. The 
occasion of this festival is thus related in the Bhuvishwii^poorana : A bird-catcher| 
detained in a forest in a dark night, climbed a vilwn tree under which was an image 
of the lingtt. By shaking^the boughs of the tree, the leaves and drops of dew &U 
upon the image, with which Shiva was so much pleased, that he declared, the wor<- 
ahip of the lingu on that night shoidd be received as aa act of uidiounded merit. 

The worship at the temples in honour of the different forma of Yishnoo, is nearly 
the same as that at the temples of the lingn. Very early in the morning the officiating 
bramhun, after putting on dean apparel, and touching the purifying water of the 
Granges, comes to the temple to awake the god. He first blows a shell and rings a 

bell ; then presents water and a towel, and muttei-s certain prayers, inviting the god 
to awake, &c. The offerings made to the forms of Yishnoo are much greater m 
quantity than those presented to Shivii. About noon, fruits, roots, aoaked peas, 
sweetmeats, &c. are presented to the image, and after this, that which answers to 
the English ideaof dinher, consisting of boiled rice, fi^ied herbs, spices, &c. Yishnoo 
neither eats flesh, fish, nor fowL After dinner, betle-nut, &c. in leaves of the betle 
vine are given to be chewed. The god is then left to sleep, and the temple is shut 
up. While he sleeps the bramhans eat the offerings. In the evening, curds, butter, 
sweetmeats, finiits, &c. are presented, and at this hour people come to the temple to 
look at the god and make their obeisance. After the setting of the sun, a lamp is 
brought into the temple, and a small quantity of milk, sweetmeats, &c. are offin*ed. 
The'priests wave a lamp of five lights before the image, ring a small bell, present 
water to wash the mouth, iace and feet, and a toweL« After the oflferings have 
continued before the god about ten minutes, they are withdrawn, as well as thela^p, 
and the god is diut up in the dark all night. 

' m 


* Wli«]i I eoqvired ioto the meaning of these ceremonies, I was informed, thai ttiey were in imitatioa nf' 
the service paid to Kriahn)i when he used in retom from tendinis the cattle. . Water to wash himself, a towel. 
lights to examine where the thorns had entered his feet or any other parts of the body, a bell to testify their joj 
that he watatfrived in safety, and some food to refresh him after the fatignes of the day in foUowuig the herds. 



Of the Times of Worship. 

LUNAR days.^-The eighth, eleFenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth lunar dajs, both 
^tfae increase and decrease of the moon, in each month, are eonsi^red as fortunate 

dajs* At the <ull moon in Asharha^ Kartikn, Maghu, aild Voishako, religious cere« 
monies are peculiarly mentorions, especially gifts to learned bramhSns ; but on the 
third lunar day in Voishaku, their merit is imperishable. Bathing in the Ganges on 
fhe tenth lunar day in Jyoishfho, is extremely meritorious. The second lunar day 
in Asharhd, and the eleventh in Shravunii are auspicious times Amt rdigious eere- 
monies. The perfermanee of the shraddhn during the deciease of the moon in 

Bhadrii is a work of great merit. On Che seventh, eighth, and ninth lunar days of 
Ashwinu, the eleventh in Kartiktf, the fifth lunar day in Maghu, the thirteenth in 
Phalgoonu, and the seventh in Choitrfl, and at the full moon in Poushi?, very great 
benefits flow firom religious acts. On all these days the Hindoos are particukrly 
occupied in the diflbrent ceremonies of their religion* 

Weekly Ctrenumies. — Some Hindoos bsl every Sunday, and perform the worship 
of their guardian deity SSoryu, Others, to fulfil a vow, &8t on a Monday,* perform* 
ing the worship of Shivii* Others, who suppose themselves to be under the baneful 
influence of the planet Saturn, fiist on a Saturday, and endeavour to propitiate this 
god by acts of devotion* 

Manlhfy Cemmndes.^Thc Shyama ftsilval is held monthly by certain Hindoos. 
The shraddhii should be repeated monthly. Some persons not able to attend to the 

weekly ceremonies cmmected with their vows, perform them monthly. 

* tt b rather siogvlar Unt both in the Eoropema and Hiodoo mytkolof^ the two Snt drjrt^f the traeMioiiM 
be called afler the naae gods : R&?ce-Tar8,^uDday, from RfiTce, the lun ; and Som5-v:ih*u, Monday, from Somttf 
the moon. 


242 HISTORY, LITERATURE, akd RELIGION, [Part hi. Chap. in. 

Annual Festhals.— The festivals of Doorga, Shjama, Jiigaddhatree, KartikO^ Mu- 
hisli-inurdinee> Rrituntee, Unntt-poorna, PhuUiharee, ShivS, Krishna, Giincshfi, &c. 
are held annualljr. Two festivals of Shiva and nine of Krishnii are annual* 

The following account of the Hindoo festivals in. each month of the year is taken 
from the Tit'hee-Tiittwu : 

VoishakhH.—Oti the third lunar day, (the anniversaTy of GOnga's descent), the 
worship of Gunga, of the mountains Koilasu and Himaluyu, of Bhugeeriit'hii, and 
of Shiva. On the twelfth lunar day the bathing and worship of Vishnoo. 


JyoiskChii. — On the tenth lunai* day (the anniversaiy of the birth of Ganga), the 
worship of Munusa, and of the nagus (serpents). At the full moon, the bathing of 
Jogunnat'hu; and on the fourteenth of the wane of the mo ji:, the worship of the 
]goddess Savitree» 

Asharhit. — On the second lunar day, the drawing of JtigunnatTiu's car, with the 
worship of this god, and of Bcdaramii and Soobhudra. On the tenth, the return of 
the car; and th? worship of these three gods. The next day is the anniversary of 
Yishnoo's lying down to sleep. 


ShraoUnS.—At the fiill moon, the dolB festival. On the eighth of the wane^ (the 
anniversary of the birth ofKrishnu), the worship of this god, of his father, Jushoda, 
Rohinw, Chundika, Bularamii, Dokshu, Gorga, Bramha, Lokshmee, and Shast'hee. 

Bhadra.-~On the seventh lunar day, the worship of Shiva and Doorgm; and on 

the seventh, the worship of Monfisa, before smaU sheaves of doorva grass. On the 

twelfth, the worship of Indru before a kind of flag-staffmade with a tree called dn- 

munu. On the fourteenth, the worship of tJnuntii. The shraddho is performed every 
day duruig the wane of the moon. 

Of the time, of w<)b«hip.] OFTHEHINDOOS. 843 

>lsAawia.— -From the first to the ninth lunar day, the worship of Doorga. At 
the full moon, the worship of LokshmS, and the game of Chotoorajee ; and on the 
last day of the moon, the Shyantt festivaL 

KarHkS.-^n the first lunar day, the worship of king Bolee; and on the second 
that of Yumu, and the feasting of own brothers by their sisters.* On the eighth, 
the worship of GttrooriV, and on the ninth that of JogaddhatrSe. At the full moon, 
the rasu festival, and the wo«hip of Shyama befo« a picture. At the ent^nce of 
the sun into a new sign, or, on the last day of Kartiku, the worsh.p of Kartiko. 

Ugrahaj,Sn&.-On the sixth lunar day, the worship of Kartikn ; and on the se- 
venthT eighth and ninth, that of Muhishu-murdmS. On the fourteeMh tl^t o( 
GofirS ; and on the seventh of the wane of the moon, theofferings to the.dead. the eighth of the decrease of the moon, the ofierings to the dead. 
On the fourteenth, the Shyama festival. 

3fogM.-On the fourth, the worship of Gouree ; on the fifth, that of SSruswa- 
tS, Za of the«,d; on the sixth, that of Shnsht'hee ; on the seventh, tha^ 
JUy^ and on th, eighth, that of Bh^shm.. , O.the eighth of the decease f 
the moon, the offerings to the dead, and on the fourteenth the anniversary of the nse 
of tlie hnga* 

PHaigoon^.-On the eighth, the worship of Mnngiau-chundika, and at the full 
moon, the doltt festival. 

,i.h r,A.W ecer. , on ft. —h, A. «mi,»».y «f the b,rU> .( 0„ 

U i. «f.d d«t Y4«ft ".d !.•>» rf»^r Yiimoona eaUbluhed «.» CMto«. 

S44 HISTORY, LITERATURE, aitd REI>1G10N, [Pam tii.€aAP. nx. 

seventh, eighth, and ninth, the worship of Doorga^ and ott the ainlh, Ibat of Uaiia* 
poorna* On the fourteenth, the worship of Kama^devo. Oa Iha diirteoath of the 
decrease of the nM>on, the worship of Gonga. On the eotmnee 9t the sua mlo a 
new sign at the dose of this month, the presenting of water, rice, &c. to bramhansti 

timljf Ceremonies. — The shastrus prescribe dailj duties towards the gods, deceas* 
tA ancestors, strangers, and the cow* The worship of Vishnoo, before the shal- 
gramo; of Shiva, before the linga; of a pers<m*s guardiap deity, before the dialgra- 
mu or water, and of anj image constantly preserved, is performed daily. If the ^« 
mily of a bramhiin, where such an image is set up, has become unclean by the death 
j»rone of its members, or by any other cause, they do not omit the daily worship, 
i^ut invite another bramhun to perform the ceremonies. Sometimes a person makes 
a vow to perform for a certain time the daily worship of Vishnoo, Shivn, and hia 
guardian deity. Bathing also, and repeating the names of the gods, with or with- 
out a bead-roU, especially the name of a person's guardian deity, are acts of daily 
worship. The daily shraddhu is performed by very few, but at the time of bathfaig, 
in the ceremony called tarpanu, the Hindoos pour out water from a copper vessel, or 
from their hands, for their deceased ancestors. Some religious acts are performed 
daily for three or four months together : as during the time of Vishnoo^i sleeping^ 
(viz. from the twelfth or fifteenth of the moon in Asharhn, to the twelfth or fifie<«itk 
in Kartiko) a person vows that no razor shall come on his head, that he will abataia 
from flesh, fish, salt,* peas, oil, curds not made at home, &c.; that he wiU not visit 
at the house of a shoodro, nor eat there nor any where else more than once a day* 
paring this period he ei^gages particularly to attend to his daily duties, as bathing, 
repeating the name of his god, &g. 

Agvee^bly to the directions of the Anhika-tottwa, the daily duties of a bramhan, 
walking in strict conformity to the rules of his religion, are as follow i 

lie mu9t divide the day, from five o'clock in the morning till seven at night, into 
teven equal parts. The duties of the first part are thus described : first, awaking 

• Rock salt ttfty be esten. 

Of /9E TIME! or woESWF.] OF TH£ lUNDOOS. 2^ 

from de«p» and rning up ia kia ked, he most repeat the names of different gods and 
sages, and praj that they woidd make the day prosperous. He mu^t then repesit 
Ae name of Urjoonn, and pray to him^ that whatever he may lose during the day 
may be restored to him ;* and then the names of any persons celebrated for their re* 
ligiotts merit. N^xt the names of Uhidya^t DropSdee^ SSta^ Tara,|| and Man* 
dedime** After this, he must meditate with his eyes closed on the form of hi» 
f piritual guide, and worship kirn in his mind, repeating these two iacantationa : ^ Ohl 
* • «  ♦! according to thy oommaAds I descend from my bed/ < Ohr • *   »i X 
know what is right, but I do it not. I know what is wroogv but i fbnaka it not* 
But do thou reside within me^and whatever thou commandest I shall do.' Then 
IMlows another incantation, and obeisaaeeto Httfee» He now descends from his bed, 
placing first his right foot on the ground. On goings ont^ if he see a Shretriyo bram- 
hon, a bdoved and excellent wife, fire, a cow, an UgnihetrSe bramhan, or any other 

bramhun, the day wiU be auspicious* If he see a wicked or naked person, a wretched 
nromany distilled spirits, or a man with a great nese,^ the day will be inauspicious*- 

|t]r repeating the names of Kurkotoka^t DomoyiintSS,:^ Nalo,% and Ritoopama,|| no^ 
fuarrel will arise during the day. He must then, after dischargiiig wind, washing bis- 
mouth, &c. go at least a hundred and ten yards from his house into the field^ and 
taking water, choosing a dean place, scattering some grass to the S. W. tying atur*- 
ban round his head, remaining sflent^ with hie fiiee to the North, refiraining froA» 
spitting, and b^Jdiii^his breath, perform the offices of nature* His poita must 
Mnmin on his right ear till he has washed his hande* It is unlawfiil to attend to 
t^e offices of natmre on a road, in the diade, where cattle graze, in the fire, or water, 
in a ploughed field, where dead bodies are burnt, upon a mountain, on the ruins of 
a temple, on an ant-hill, in a ditch, or by the side of a river.* After this, he must 
go to a m<Hre dean qpot, and taking some good earth, cleanse the left hand ten times, 

• It is said ibsfwIieB Urjooaft was ktnf, there were no robberiei> ar If sack stlkiosdidliappcD>b7rapeatiDg 
hit nanei (he laser was sare to Sod hb property again. 

f The wife of Govtibnfi i she was gailty of adultery with ladrS. $ The wife of Toodhisht'hirS and hit 

hrotfiers. S The wife <tf llam&. | The wife of Balee and Soogree?tt, two monUes. • The wife of RaTfioQ. 

-f A serpent. t ^« wife of iLiag Nttlfi. ^ A kins. | Another kingv 

^ 80 UtUe la this regarded, that almost all the lower ordcn of Bkdooi go to the 6ai^Sc«, ^ 

246 HISTORY, LITERATURE, anb RELIGION, [Part hi. Chap, hi. 

then both hands seven times, the back of the left hsnd six tines; and then his nails; 
thi?n wash his hands ; each foot three times; and then rinse both feet. If he per* 
ceiv« any evil smell remaining on his bands or feet, he must wash them again. If 
the bramhtin had no water^pot, he must wash himself in this manner in a common 
pool or river, and take care that he come out of the water clean. His water-pot 
must neither be of mixed metal, copper, nor gold : an earthen pot must be thrown 
away as soon as used. If the pot be of brass or silver, he must scour it w^ after 
be return. If a bramhun attend not to these modes of cleansing, all his other reli« 
gious actions mil be void of merit** 


The bramhun must next attend to his morning ablutions. Taking a dry towel) 
he must go to a pool or river, and placing the cloth on the ground, wet his feet and 
hands; then perform achiimunu, 1^ taking up water in the palm of his right hand 
thr^e times, an4 drinking it as it runs toward his wrist; then with his right hand 
touch his lips, nose, eyes, eai*g, navel, breast, forehf^d, and shoulders, repeating aif 
incantation ; wash his hands again and perform achumunil, repeating an incantation ; 
then sitting to the N. or E. before sunrise, cleanse his teeth with the end of a green 
6tick,f about six or seven inches long. If he clean his teeth aft^ sunrise, in the next 
birth he will be bom an insect feeding on ordui-e« He must now wash firom his £ice 
the mark on his forehead made the day before ; then scrape and wash his tongue,' 
taking care that the bjiood does not flow. If in cleansing his teeth he should make them 
bleed, he becomes unclean, and is disqualified for performing any religious eeremo-' 
ny on that day. If, however, he make his teeth bleed by the side of the Ganges, 
he does not become unclean. 

He must next gather flowers for worship on the banks of a pool or river. If any. 
one forbid him, he must willingly desist ; if any are given him by a biamhim, he 

 Oneofthethin^, in the conduct of Europeans, which sives most offence to the Hindoos, is the omitting 
these modes of cleansiii j^. 

+ Qn tlie Ist, 601, 8th, 10th, and 14th days of the increase and wane of the moon, and at the full and now 
moon ; on the last day of the calender monfti ; on a fast day, and on (he day of performing a shraddhll, i( is un* 
lawful for a bramhun 4o clean his teeth with a stick. If he should do this on these days, he w ill sink into a drc^d* 
ful hell. If the Bible had laim down ruUi and penalties like these^ what ocauionftr ridicule to unbelievers I . 



must receive them; but not if a shoodrn offer them ; if a person have them to sell, 
he roust give him what he asks. If in carryin<i; these flowers to the side of the water^ 
a person of mean cast touch them, or he touch any uncleau thing, he must throw 
them away. If a person of any. cast make a bow to him while the flowers are in his 
hand, he must also throw them away»* 

Returning to the river, and sitting in silence, he must rub himself all over with 
mud; then descending into the river as high as his breast, with his face towards the 
East or North, he must repeat certain incantations, by which (in his imagination) all 
other sacred rivers will flow into that in which he stands, as well as all other holy 
places; he must afterwards repeat many incantations, and perform moodra^ viz* cer- 
tain motions by twisting his fingers into several curious shapes ; then, dividing his 
hair behind, and bringing it into his hands before, with his thumbs he must stop his 
ears ; with the three first fingers of each hand cover his eyes, and with his two little 
fingers, his nostrils, and then immerse himself three or four times; then with hi» 
hands joined throw up water to his. head ; then repeat other incantations ; ihesn taking 
up water with hisjoined hands, he must offer it three times to the sun ; then washing 
. his body, and repeating certain prayers, that he may ascend to some heaven, or re- 
ceive some temporal good, he laust again immerse himself in the water* After this 
he must ascend to the side of the river, and wipe his body with a towel; then re* 
peat certain forms of pndse to Gonga, Soorya^ V ishnoo, and other gods ; then put 
dry and newly-washed doth round his loins ; and silting down deanse his poita by a 
rinsing it in the water ; then taking up some earth in his hand, and diluting it with 
water, put the middle finger of his right hand in this earth, and make a line betwixt 
his eyes up to the top of his forehead ; then draw his three first fingers across his 
forehead ; make a round dot with his little finger in the center at the top of his head ; 
another on the upper part of his nose ; another on his throat ; then with his three 
first fingers make marks across his breast and arms; then make dots on his sides, 

• The meaning of tbb is, that the sin of the penon who made the bow being trensfeired to the bnunhi'n, the 
sin, instead of entering the fire said to lodge in a brambrn's hand, by which it would be consumed, enien the 
Howers, and they thereby become unclean. If a bramhito, with flowers in his hand, meet a shoodrfi who is ig- 
norafit of the rules of the sbastrfi) he forbids him to bow to him, but in general the lower orders know tbia cos* 


248 HISTOUY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part hi. Cuap. nx. 

and another on the lower part of his bade. After this he must take up water in hie 
right hand three times and drink it. 

To this succeeds the morning sondhyai in which the persen mast offer many praf « 
era ; pour out water to different godsi repeat certain forms of praise in honour of 
the sun, which he must worship, and repeat the gajntrSe ; then take up water with 


his kosha,* and pour it out to his deceased ancestors; after which he must return 
home, and read some part of the ¥£da«t 

After this, if the bramhifn be a house-keeper, h« must seek the provisions for his 
familj for the day. If he be diliguit in discharging social duties, be will obtain 
heaven ; but if not he will sink into hcUL 

About eleven o^dock, taking the flowed, his kosha and faooshee, some seeds of 
sesamum, leaves of the vilwa tree, Uaje^of the keoshii grass, and a towel, he must 
proceed to the riven Placing these things bj the side of the river, fte must prqpar^ 
a place for worship ; take some proper earth,, and cteanee it, so that neither insects, 
hair, mMr anj thing impure remain ; and thea make the earth into a ball; laj it dewn^ 
and wash his own body, rubbing himself with his towel. Then- he must descend 
into the water up to the middle, and perform his ablutions as in the morning. After 
bathing, he must ascend to the side, wipe himself, put on a dry piece of cloth (not 
a black one) ; sit with his free to the East or North ; tie a lock of hair into a knot, 
and having repeated a prayer, the whole of his hair in a knot ; mark his forehead as 
in the morning; then perform the ceremony called achunranu; and then the sundbya. 
After this he must make an image of thelingu with the pure earth which he has pre- 
pared ; and laying it aside, descend into the water, or sit by it, and poor out water 
(containing a few seeds of the sesanum) from his kosha to three or four of the gods, 
repeating incantations : then to certain sages, and deceased ancestors, vis?, to three 
generations on the fether's and three on the mother's side, (males). If a bramhun 

* A small copper cap. Another still smaller is called kooshee. ' * 

+ If at this time he copy a part of any of the shastrt&s, and preseirt it to some brunhSB, he will rec eitc etei^ 
lasting happiness. 

Daily vonsHip.] O F T II E lU N D O O S. S49 


do aot juresenidrink-oCferiogs to deceased relirtioaa, all his works of merit lose their 

Thenextthiiigiglheactofworship, (^ja> in which the bramhun nmst sit with his 
face to the North^ and flssekkg lik&Uskgh towards the same point, bathef It by sprink* 
ling; it with wator^ then dosing his ey^s sit for some time in the act of meditatioinv 
(dhyannjf after wfaicb, pimping some Sowers on his own head, he must pc^rfci^m th^ 
worship of Shiru ; then meditate on* the image^ and placing floirers oti the lin^u, re* 
peat other incantations, to commnnicaite a soul (prano) to the lingS ; then another 
prayer to bring Shiva hinsself into his presence ; and then perform a ceremony caUek^ 
yonee-moodra^. which consists of five cvrioos motions with ihe hands'; then, he must 
offer to the linga a iporsel of silver or geU ; or, if hs be ^oor, water, reading a pray«^ 
er. If e must after this offer water for thegod's feet ; also a Uttle dry rice, and a few 
blades of d.oorva grass, wifh a prayer; then a number of raw vegiptabtes. He must 
next repeat the name of Shivu a certain number of times; offer water, and repeat aa 
incantation offering water or flowers, and worship Shivu in his eight forms,* re- 
peatmg eight incantations; then follow forms of praise in honour of Shivu, daring 
which he must prostrate himself before the lingu; and afterwards make a drumming 
noise with his tfanmb or fingers on the right cheek, and beat against his sides with 
bis arms. If he has been worshipping by the side of the Ganges, he must throw 
the lingo into ihe river, or if by the side of a pool or any other river, he must throw 
away the lingo on the land. To this should succeed the worship of Vishnoo before 
the shalgramu, or before water. Next that of 96oryu, Ugnee, Doorga, Brumha, 
the gayiitrS, the spiritual guide, the nine planets, the ten guardian deities of the 
earth, and lastly of the person*8 guardian deity. The offerings in this last act of 
worship are the same as in the worship of the lingu, but the prayers are more nu- 

When all these ceremonies have been performed by the side of a popV 9^ ^ river, 
the worsSipper having presented the burnt-offeiing", must return to his house, pcr- 

 These eight forms of Shivfi are representatives of the earth, wattr^ fire, air, ipace». Sicrifice, the son, and 
tSe moon. F f . 


250 HISTORY, LITERATURE, And RELIGION, [Paet m. Chap. hi. 

form the daily sliraddha, and offer to the gods pkntains,. diy rice, peas, sweetmeats, 
cocoa nuts, &o. 

Tlie da}^'8 work must be closed by entertaining sereral poor bramhnns or other 
guests who may be in his house^ If no guests should arrive, about three o'clock in 
^e afternoon he must sit down to dinner ; which may consist of boiled rice, fried 
fruits, split peas, greeps, sour curds, or milk, but neither fish nor flesh. First, he 
must offer the whole food to his guardian deity, sprinkling water on the rice^ and re- 
peating incantations ; and then put morsels of the difierent articles of his food in five 
places on a dean spot, which, after sprinkling with water, he must offer to the five 
winds, Naga, Koormo, KrSikQtii, Devfi-dntto, and DhQnun-joya. After this, drink 
a little water, repeating an incantation, and then put a little rice into his mouth with 
his right h^nd at five different times, and repeat incantations containing the names 
of five airs which the Hindoos say are lodged in the body : he may then, remaining 
in silence, finish his repast, afterwards drink a little water, wash his hands and 
mouth, and cleanse his teeth. After washing his feet, he must sit upon a mat of 
hooshu-grass and chew betle-nut, mixed with some or all of the following articles^ 
lime, treacle, catechu, cardamums, cloves, nutmeg, mace, camphor, cojiander seed^ 
&c. Before he begins to chew the betle, he must offer it with prayers to his guar- 
dian deity. If he do not chew betle, he must eat fruit of the terminalia citrina, and 
repeat the name of Vishnoo once. 

To this must succeed the evening sundhya, either in his own house or by the side 
of the river. The ceremonies pre the same as those already described^ After this^^ 
repeating the name of his guardian deity during two hours^ he may take a little re- 
freshment, as sweatmeats, milk, plantains, curds, or something of the same ivature ; 
and about ten retire to rest. 

At present, those bramhons who live without secular employment, spendabput four 
hours daily in worship, an hour in the morning, two at noon^ and one in the even- 
ii^« . Such a person's first act in the morning, as he rises, is to repeat the name. 


of his guardiasi deity, after which he goes into a fi^d tritfa a pan of 5^aier, and re- 
turning, bathes : then taking the water of the Ganged, be sits down in his house, 6r 
.by the river, and pours out drink-offerings to his deceased ancestors ; repeats certain 
forms from the veda, the meaning of which he himself does not understand ; wor- 
ships Shivu with the usual forms of praise, as, ^ Oh ! Shiva ! thou art every thing ; 
thou unitest all the gods in thyself; thou cans't do all things,* &c. during which be 
offers with proper forms water, flowers, &c. to the god ; and then repeats for some 
time the name of hisgoardian deity. At noon aftei* bathing, he repeats certain forms 
.from the vedo, and worships Shivu, his guardian deity, and other gods, with the usiaal 
forms and offerings; pours out drink-offerings to deceased ancestors, and repeats the 
name of his guardian deity. At this time, the worshipper prays for any thing he may 
be anxious to obtain, as the health of his child, a lucrative situation, &c. Bui this is 
-done only when sickness, poverty, or any other necessity, forces a person to ex- 
press his complaints to his god. The worship in the evening is similar to that in the 

* Bramhnns in employment unite the first and second services together in the morn- 
ing, and finish the whole in half an hour, confining themselves to the repetition of 
the name of their guardian deity, the forms from the veda, including the gajratree^ 
and pouring out a drink-offering to deceased ancestors. Most of these persons 
omit the evening service altogether. 

Though these ceremonies are in general performed in the house, the family do not 
unite in them : during their performance, the family business is transacted, and the 
children play as usual ; the worshipper himself not unfrequently mixes in conversati- 
on, or gives directions respecting matters of business. The children sometimes sit 
as spectators, so that by the time they grow up, they learn the different forms of 
daily worship. 

The women, though not allowed to touch a consecrated image, (beasts, women, 

and shoodriis are forbidden) worship the gods daily in their own houses, or by the 

Ff 3 

9BS HISTORY, LITERATURE, a»0 REUGI0I4; [Past nr. Cukw. 



ariver side^ (repentiBg^ certain ibrms from the Tontra sihastrns) before an earthen 
image of the lingii^ or the water of the Granges : if they should worship bef<»re a con* 
aecrated image, they must keep at a respectable distance from the tdoL Some merdy 
yepeatafew forms while standing in ih^ water, bow to the god, without an image^ 
and thus finish the religion of the day ; others spend half an hour in these ceremo* 
nies, and females who have leisure, an hour or more* 

The shoodras in general repeat the name of their guardian derty while bathmg^ 
! imd this comprises the whole of their daily religion : yet rich men of the lower casts 
apend an hour in rdigieos ceremonies^ in the house or by the side of the river. 

A« there is nothing of pure morality in the Hindoo writings, so in the eeremonies 
of this 4peopIe nothing like the rational and pure devotion of a christian worshipper 
is to be found. In performing their daily duties, as mi^ be expected from a ritu* 
al possessing little meaning and no interest, the Hindoos are sometime«^ precise^ 
and at other times careless, muttering forms of praise or prayer to the gods while 
their attention is drawn to every surrounding object. To expect that services like 
.these would ni^nd the hearty is out of the (question* 

I * 




Various Religious Duties and Ceremonies, 



Form ofimiiatian into tie Hindoo r€tigio9U 


EVERY Hindoo receives an initiating^ incantation firom somebrambun^* who then 


becomes his spiritual g^uide (gooroo) : the principal thing in this incantation is the 
nanie of some ^ody who becomes his (ishta) chosen deity^ and by repeating; whose 
name he is to obtain present and future happiness* 

When the ceremony of initiation !l to be performed^ an auspicious day is choseB^ 
which is preceded by a ^st. On the morning;' of the day appointed, the disciple 
bathes ; after which, entreatii^ the priest to sit dowp^ he presents bim with some 
cloth, kpurees, betle«nut, and a poita; after which he performs the c^reraoiiy caUed 


sankolpii, in doing which he first takes in his joined hands a small copper dish^ with 
some water in it, lays a plantain, some flowers, sesamum, kooshu-g;rass, rice, &c» 
upon it, and then says, ^ For the removal of all my sins, and to obtain happiness 
after death, I take the incantation from niy gooroo/ The gooroo then per&ims^ 
at some length the worship of the god whose name is to be given ; to which suc^ 
ceeds the burnt-offering. He next thrice repeats in the right ear of the disciple the 
incantation; after which the disciple presents a fee of from one to twenty roopees^ 
and worships the feet of the gooroo, presenting sweetmeats, cloths, flowers, fruits^ 
and other offerings commonly presented to the gods. He next repeats certain forms, 
and in his meditation brings into his mind that his spiritual guide is in fact his guar* 
dian deity, from whom he is to receive salvation. Another fee is then given ; after 
which the disciple drinks the water in which the gooroo's feet have been washed^ 

^ TTirrf wtr tftBif rarr ^ft'*f1*f «"<M»g tw pnnr of pimawM whn ngugr rac^yg the imtiatory iacmtatjaa* 

351 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Paet hi. Chaf. it. 

and prostrates himself at his feet, when the spiritual guide putting his right foot on 
his head, and, stretching forth his right hand^ gives him a blessiogi The gooroo is 
then feasted, with other bramhuns. Two or three persons onlj are permitted to be 
present at this ceremony. 

The above incantation is called veeja mantra.* It generally consists of a single 
sound ; as, when it is to be taken from the name of a god, a consonant is taken out of 
this name, and a vowel added to it : thus when Krishna is about to become the chosen, 
god of a person, the gooroo takes the consonant k, and adds to it a or oo, or some 
other vowel, and then the mantra becomes ka, or koo. Very frequently the sound 
ung is united to a consonant, to form the initiating incantation, of which thei:e are 
many specimens in the Tantra-sara. It is probable that no meaning was ever in« 
tended to be attached to these sounds. 


DuUes of a disciple to his Spiritual Guide f (Gooroo)^ 

THE following article respecting the qualifications of a gooroo, is taken from the 

' Tuntru-sarii : A spiritual guide must be free from the following fiiults : he must not 

be subject to his passions, so as to become an adulterer, a thief, &c. ; be bom of a good 

family ; possess suavity of manners; be attentive to religious duties ; honourable in 

tlie eyes of others ; always keep his body pure ; be ready in religious ceremonies ; 
&ithful in the discharge of the duties of his cast ; wise, able t<f keep in order as 
well as to cherish his disciples ; learned in the shastrtis, &;c. From a gooroo thus qua- 
lified it is proper to receive the initiatory rites. A person who is a glutton, who has 

the leprosy, is blind of one or both eyes ; very small in stature, or who has whit« 

I0W9; whose teeth standout; who is noisy and talkative ; subject to his wife; or 


whose toes or fingers are unnaturally unequal, or of an improper number; an asth« 
matic person, or in other respects diseased, is disqualified. 

V * * 

« The oriji^inal fncaDtation^ or that which gives rice to works of merit, wealth, the desire of happine«i and 
absorgtion. . «. 

Duties of a disciple,] O F T H E H I N I>0 O Si 255 

. Tlie following are tbe duties of a disciple to hb preceptor, as given in tie Timtra* 
CRura : A disciplf^must be docile; keep his body pure ; be obedient in receiving all 
that the shastriis make known ; be capable of understanding what be is taught, &c. 
If the disciple consider his gooroo as a mere man, and not the same as his guardian 
deity, he will sink into miseiy. A pupil must worship his father and mother, as those 
who gave him birth ; but he must honour his gooroo in a superior degree, as he who 
rescues him from the path of sin, and places him in the way of holiness.; the gooi^ 
too is in fitct the disciple's lather, mother, and god; if even Shiva beoffended with a 
disciple, his gooroo is able to deliver him. The disciple must promote the wel&re 
of his gooroo by all his actions; if he injure him, in another birth he will become ar 
worm feeding on ordure. If a disciple renounce the initiating incantation, he will" 
die; if he reject his gooroo, he will become poor ; if both, he will fell into the heU 
Rourava ; ifhe, leaving his guardian deity, worship another god as his guardian dei« 
iy^ he wM sink into torments. A disciple must honour his gooroo's son and grands 
son as he honours the gooroo. Whether the spiritual- guide be learned or ignorant,, 
a vile or a holy person, a disciple has no other i^esonrce, no other way to happiness,. 
But his gooroo. Other shastrns prescribe, that thedisciple shall mak^ prost»*ation to- 
the gooroo three time&a day, ifhe live in the same village,, viz. in the morning, at 
noon, and in the evening. Ifhe meet him at any time, he must prostrate himself at . 
his feet, and receive his blessing. Wh«i a gooroo dies^a disciple become^ unclean. 

When the gooroo arrives at the house of a disciple, the whole femily' prostrate 
themselves at his feet, and the spiritual guide puts his right foot on the heads of the 
prostrate femily. One of the femily washes his feet, and all afterwards drink some . 
of the dirty water with which his feet hme been washed; the water which remains 
is preserved. Others present to him iowers, or anoint his body with oil, or bathe 
him by pouring water'on his head. After they have all bathed, they again wor- 
ship the gooroo*s feet, by presenting flowers, sweetmeats, &c% repeating incanta- 
tions. The gooroo is then entertained. Of the little that he leaves, each one seizes 
a morsel with eagerness. At length he departs with presents according to the dis- 

ciplc^s ability. Some give a piece of cloth, others from one to ten roopees. The 
* • • 

disciple sometimes sends presents to his gooroo's house. 


«56 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Paut hi. Chap, m 

. Asa proof how rigicUy many of the Hindoos adhere to the cMionoida off the shasfrii 
en this subject, it luay not beamisa to record the foUowiiig ctrcumetance : in the jrcar. 
1804, Huree-Turku'Bhooshann, a brambua of Cs^utta, agedabout60, was carried 
to the river side, at the point of death, and while there one of his disciples Ubhiiva« 
ehurnnd-Mitru, a kaist^ha, went to see him* The disciple asked his^ dying gooro0, 
if thei*e was any thing that he wished fi'om him. The gooroo aekedhim for 100,00Q 
roopees. The disciple hesitated, and said he could not give so much. The gooroo 
then asked him what he was worth* He said, he might be worth about 100,000,^ 
but it was not all in roopees* The goorpo asked him to give his children- half this 
aum; This the disciple surrendered ; and then asked him what else he could do for 
him. He pretended not to want any thing else, but his youngest son then present 
was in want of a pair of gold rings fcnr his wrists, and which he had been unable ta. 
give him. The disciple had a son standing near who had cfn a pair. These rings, 
worth about five hundred roopees, were immediately taken off^* and put on tha 
wrists of the old gooroo^s son. The disciple again asked what else he could do. 
for him. The gooroo requested him to give bis eldest son a piece of ground in Cal- 
cutta. He gave it« This land.was woi*tb twenty thousand roopees. The disci-* 
pie again asked, if there was any thing ftirther he could do to please him* The 
old fellow made apolc^es, but at length requested him to make a present of five. 


thousand roopees towards the expences of his shraddhii.* This was added. The^ 
Bext morning the gooroo died. His wife was burnt with his body. At the time of 
his shraddhn, the disciple added toother five thousand roopees towards defittying tiie 
expences. This man's memory is execrated by all the Hindoos; who si^, he would} 
certainly have gone to heU, if liis wife had not burnt herself with him. — Since this 
event Ubhnya-churrmu died at Mattra, and his widow, taking his dog and stick, re^ 
iu>unced life at Calcutta on a foneral pile prepared fi>r the purpose. 

At present, the office of spiritual guide is often hereditary, and of course is fre- 
quently in the hands of persons really disqualified. Neither do the modern Hin- 
doos pay much regard to the qualifications of their teachers ; these guides too are 
equally careless respecting their disciples : they give the incantation, and receive in 

 Rites for the repose of the souU 

DuTiM 09 A iiiMf FLiB.] OF TBB HJNJ9O0& i&T 

ffniWBk Twereme m4 f roi^pts. To ^acfm^ 4 ffUfiMs ff«J40 H ifl only iiace8«ar> to 
be a brarahoo, and be acquainted with the incantations. In many cases indeed the 
wives ef bramhons become gooroos to their own children, as well as to others, both 
10«1« w4 ^millt- It is coomdorod as a kBffy <Jmitm9tanQe te Feceive tlie farm of 
imtiation fiMi a qiotbm* AiMBg the l^llowori of OMifioyhf pome shoSdros are 

The business of a religious guide is veiy profitable. Some obtain a thousand dis- 
ciples ; and all are ambitious of guifng the rich. Upon a moderate calculation, the 
gooroo of a thousand dilctiiks receives in presents mnch more than a thousand roo- 
pees annually. A poor niaii generally gives his gooroo a roopee a year, or if he 
visit him twice a year, two roopees. One or two of the Gosaees, descendants of 
Choitunyu, have two pr jthree thousand fisciplea. 

Jastances of disputes betwixt a spiritual guide and a disciple are not uncommon, 
in which case the former does not &il to curse such a disobedient disciple in terms 
!ike these : « MRj^jOMt posterity perish.^ * May all your wealth evaporate.^ The 
disciple is exceedingly alarmed at the curse of his gooroo, and if in a «hort time any 
of thefemily fie, his neighbours ascribe it *o*his§i|flBe. If the children do not choose 
their fiither^s gooroo, he curses tbe fiimily- If a bramhon consider htmsclf as hav- 
ing cUnms on any member of a femily to become Ms spirftnal guide, and this person 
or the fiuiwly be nnwtUing,.tbe bwimbfin g«>es to their bouse, ^^i ppfow to e^4iU 
Hmf consent. The fiwuily ian^ not eat tfll the jgooriwi has eaten,— On some occa^ 
Mom, the gooroo i» willed in to ai^jast fomiJy differences. If two brothers quarrel 
about an estate, an Appeal is made to the gooroo, who generally gives his judgment 
in &VOW of tVe brvther who caa afford the gr^test bribe. 

The gooroos are not distingwshod by any particular dress, and many pursue sc- 
^idar ete^oyment* 

I ha^e iieard ^ mm religious guides who, talung advantage of the profound re- 
verence in which they we held, are guilty of improper conduct with their female 

S58 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part mr Chap. w. 

disciples; and others- of these demi-gods are guilty of crimes which they expiate oa 
a gallow8» 

r-Gooroo^-^These persons are sometimes employed in teaching the disci- 
ple how to worship hi» guardian* deity. If the chief gooroo be a female, or be ig- 
norant of the proper incantation, the assistant-gooroo is called in. i 


ReSgious AusteriiieSy ( TitpUstfa.) 

THOSE religious works which rec^uire bodily sufferings, are, in general, deno- 
minated tupusyas. Among other acts which .fidl under this description, are, — severe 
abstinence ; repeating the name of an idol, and sitting in particular postures, for a long 
time ; a person's surrounding himself with five fires ;* and the severities practised by 
ascetics. These works of severity towards the body are not done as penances for 
sin, but as works of extraordinary merit, producing large rewards in a future state* 


Bumt'SaeryiceSy (YUgn&.J 

IN these sacrifices, the following ceremonies are commanded by the shastra 
The names of deceased ancestors for six generations must be repeated in the mom* 
ing before the sacrifice; to this succeeds the appointment of the sacrificial priests; 
then a ceremony for the success of the sacrifice, in which the priest, taking up dry rice, 
scatters it on the ground, repeating incantations Rafter this, sankolpu, in which the 

* la January, 1812, the author witnessed the performance of some uncommonly seyere acts of rellg^toas an- 
Bterity in the saburbs of Calcutta: A number of Hindoo mendicants bad erected huts near one of the descents 
into the Ganges, and seyeral derotees on this spot dally surrounded themselves with fires of cow«daqg, and for 
three or Ibar hours each day rested on their shoulders with their legs upward, repeating the names of the gods 
in silence, and counting their bead rolls. Crowds of people were coming and going, astonished spectators of 
these infatuated men; who continued their' religions aOBteritfca in the night, by Handing up to the neck in the 
Ganges for two or three hours, countiug their beads. 


per8oii,.repeating the name of the day^ moatb, ice, declares that he is about to per- 
form this ceremony to obtain such and such benefits ; lastly follows a sacrifice of mu»- , 
tard seed to drive away evil genii and enemies. On the altar are placed things ne-. 
cessary for the different ceremonies, as pans for water, branches of the mango tree,, 
fi-uits, flowers, garlands, sandalwood, toolusee* and vilwut leaves, doorva and koosha 
grassy rice, seeds of sesamum, curds, redlead^ small twigs of sacred, trees to be> 
burnt, a mortar and pestle, spoons, meatofferings, garments, &gu The priest sitting 
on the altar worships certain gods ; after which the altar is set in order for the sacri-. 
fice, and the fire prepared ; the worship of Ugnee then takes place, at the commence*, 
ment of which the priest repeats a prayer fi*om the vedn to this purport : ^ Ohl; 
Ugnee ! thou who sittest on a goat, and hast seven columns of fire ; thou art ener- 
gy itself; thou art the mouth of the gods — I worship thee; come.' One of the. 
priests next purifies with incantations the vessels, the wood for the sacrifice, and the,, 
clarified butter ; he then boils the rice^ and afterwards performs the burnt*sacrifice 
either with clarified butter, the flesh of some apimal, pieces of wood, vilwci leaves, 
flowers of the koruveeruj: or the wdter-Iily, boiled rice, seeds of seeamum^ or fruits* 
To this succeeds a burnt-sacrifice to certain gods with rice, clarified butter, sugar, 
curds^ milk, flesh, and other articles, and a sacrifice to the nine {danets, and to all 
the gods whom the priest can remember. An atonement for any mistake «irhich maj^ 
have occurred is next made by a burnt-offering of ^Jarified butter. The officiating, 
priest must then put on the fire a new poita, doth^ flowers, a plantain, betle, and 
rice, when the sacrificer, standing behind the priest, must put his right hand on his. 
shoulder; while the latter pours clarified butter on the fire, till the flame ascends to 
a great heighth. If the flame be free from smoke, and surround the altar in a 
southerly direction^ the blessings sought by the sacrificer will be obtained ; after 
this, the priest, sprinkling some water on the fire, dismissesihe god Ugnee. The 
sacrificer now presents fees to the priests, and the whole ends with a feast to the 
bramhons, and the dismissing of Ihe guests with presents. 

I have obtained from several works accounts of ihe following burnt-sacrifices^ 

vOcymmn gratiflaimum. ^- JEglc mannelos. t Nerimn odonna. 

G g% 

HISTORY, LITERATURE, awb RELIGION, [PlfcT i»t. Chaf. tt. 

fhe saar^e of a MAN II — First, a covered altar* is te be pf epar^ in an opea 
place near the houae of the offerer; sixteen posts are to be erected^ At <if vihia^MX 
of khodirii, and fonr of oodoomfaorn ; a goiden image of a man, and an iton one at 
a goat, are then to bo set up, and also golden images of Yishnoo and LukshmS, a 
siWer one of Shiva, with a golden bull on whieh Shiva rides, and a silver one oT 
Gnroorn. Brass pans are also to be provided for hokKag vrater^ &c. Animals^ aft 
goats and sheep, are to be tied to the posts^ one of the khndifu posts being left for 
the man who is to be sacrificed. Fire is next to be procured with a burning glass^ 
or with flinty or brought from the house of a devout hramhnn^ The priest called 
brnmha sits on a seat of kooshu grass at one comer of the altar with aa alms^ disli 
in his hand,, suid consecrates* the different utensils- The priest called hola then 

performs certain minute ceremonies^ and laj^s blades of koosfan grass aH round the £re 
on the altar ; to which succeeds the burnt-sacrifice to the ten guardiiufi deities of the 
earthy to the nine planets^ to Roodru,^ Brandia^ Yastoo-poorooshn, and Yishnoo: ta 
eadi of the two latter clarified butter is to be poured on the fire a thousand times. 
Next foUowa another bumt-sacrifiee^ and the same sacrifice to sixty-fouv- gods^ be* 
ginniag with Douvarikn. After tiiis, in the name of all the gods above-mentioned, is 
madethe bamt-sacrifiM with the flesh of the other animals tied to the different posts. 
To this snecoeds the human sacrifice. The victim must be free from bodilj distem-* 
per, be neither a child nor advanced in jears.+ After slaving the victim, ttie hota, 
with small pieces of flesh, must oflerthe sacrifice to tiie ahoveHOdentioned gods, ivalk«^ 
lag round the altar after each separate ofiering. 

In the third book ef the Muha-bharUta, a storj is related respeetiilg a king of the 

name ofSomiikfi, who obtained from the gods a hundred sons in consequence of hav^ 
ing oJBfered a human saerifice*. 

The Ramajunn contains a storj xespeetMg MuhS-Ravunn, who attempted toe^ 
fer Ramn and Lokshmunn, when in patalti, as a sacrifice to BhQdra-Kalee,. in order 
to obtain success in war forlits fether Jtavond. 

* The HiadOA ak«r am; baye brick-work, around it, kot In the iasidi! It !k ta be fitted up with pure ^fulhw 
In the centre some penommake a hole for the flre^ and othen laiae on thecentre a small elevation of sand^aadl 
attthift kindle tbefirow i ThewYictlBu«mfiDEBierlybaB^Air«odfi«e. 

BoHAif SAomiMdmT] OF THE HINDOOS. $6i 


• Attodierttoiy is cMtaued ia the Ranajrmtn, that UniTarSisfany king of Uyodhya, 
oDoe resolTed od oferingahiunaD vicCimy which, after being prepared, was stolen by 
Indro. The king traversed manj conntries unable to obtain another victim, till at 
last Kidlieska^ wAd his second son to hin, for ^heaps of tiie purest gold, jewels,^ and 
a hundred thousand cows/ The &ther refused to sell hiB eldest son, and the mother 
would not give up the youngest. The second son,, after he had been sold, claimed the 
protection of the sage Vishwa^mitrU) who directed each one of his sons to give him* 

self up iobesacrified iasteadof this youth; but they all refused; when Vishwa*mitra 
cursed them^ and gave this youth an. incantation^ by repeating which the gods would 
deliver him from death. After ho had been bound for execution^ he repeated thia 
kicantation from the Rig-vcda^ when Indru delivered hkn, andf bestowed on the kihg 
the blessiDg he sought by this sacrifice. — The Shree-bhaguvutfi gives a similar story 
reapecting an ascetic^ Juru-Bhor&ta; but in this case the goddess worshipped burst 
from the image, rescued the devotee^* and destroyed those who were about to sacri- 
fice him*. 

The Institutes of Munoo contain the follown^ p a ragr aph : ^The sacrif ce of a bull^ 
i>f a man, or oT a horse, in the kiilSe age^ must be avoided by twice-born men ; ^o 
must a second gift of a married young woman^ whose husband has died before eon* 
summation,, the larger portion of an eldest brother^ and procreatioft on a bvother^fli 
widow or wile»^ 

However shocking it nMiy be^ it is generally reported amongjBt tfie natives^ that 
human sacrifices are ta this day offered in some places ia BengaL At a village 
called Ksfaeerii, near the town of Burdwan, it is positively afivmed, that human sa* 

crifices are still ofiered to the goddess Yoogadya, a form %£ Doorga; at KirSeto* 
kooa; near Moorshudubad,.to Kalet*, — and at many other places* The discoveiy of 
these murders in the name of religion is made by finding 4he bodies with the heads 
€Ui off near these images ; and though no one acknowledges the act, yet the natives 
well know that these people have beeu offered ia sacrifice.. 

« This man obeerred a yokuUaMj aUcneey and refoMd all int?rcoaflie wUlLhaiiiaaMtip^ tliat be might aToid 

aS2 HISTORY, LITERATURE, amd RELIGION, [Paet hi. C^ap, it. 

.About seven years ago, at. the vills^e oftSeramporei Bear Kdtwa, befiwre the tem- 
ple of the goddess Tai'a^ a human body was found without a head, and in the inside^ 
of the temple different offerings, as ornaments, food, flowers, spirituous liquors,^. 
All who saw it knew, that a human victim had been slaughtered in the night, -and 
search. was madje after the murderers, but in vain. 

At Briimha-neetaia, near N6deeya,is'an image of Mttnfisa, before which the wor- 
ship of Doorga is performed. It is currently reported that at this place human 
victims are occasionally offered, as decapitated bodies are found* there. 

'Ramti-nafhri-yachasputSe, ihe second Sfingskritu pundit in the c6llege of Fort- 
William, once -assured me, that about the year IT70, at the village of SSomura, near 
Gooptipara, he saw the head of a man, with a lamp placed on it, lying in-a temple 
before the image 4>f the^^oddess Siddh^shwopee, andthe'tiody lying in. the road op- 
posite the temple. A similar &ct is related respecting an image of Bhurga-Bheema 

at Tomlooko, where a decapitated body, was found. 

. • . • • • ' ' 

At Chit-pooru, and at Kalee-^batu,^ near Calcutta, ifis said, that human sacri- 
fices have been occasionally offered. A respectable native assured me that at Chit- 
pooru, near the image of Chittr^shwfirSe, about the year 1768, a decapitated body 
was found, which, in the opinion of the spectators, had been evidently offered on the 
preceding night to this goddess* 

The following stoxy respecting raja Krishnu-chiindrii-rayu isT)elieved by a great 

* AbMt the yeas 1800, accordini; to Ubhttyt&«chfirKn1i, a learned brambfln, who has asist^ the author in this 
work, two Hisdooicot oat their owntODgues, and offered themUo the idol atKalee-^hat&t both tbeM men carae 
from Hiiidooflt'han& : one of them was seen by my informant lying on the ground after the action, the blood run- 
ning from his mouib. At Jwala<«iookh&, to the N. W. of 1>eUii, from time inmiemoria] infatuated Hindoos 
have cut out their tongues, And offered tliem to Sfitei, to whom this place is sacred, and where the tongue of this 
goddess is supposed to^ have fallen when Shiv& threw the members of her body into different parts of the earth, 
lu the inside of the temple at thb place (which appears to be part of a burning mountain) fire ascends, exhibiting 
to this degraded people a constant miracle. The same person informed the author, that two diseased persons* 
who had gone to the idols at Tarfikl^wiirfi and at Mfioola, in fien«al, some yean ago, despairing of a cure, sa- 
crificed themseWes to these idols by stabbing thcmselTCS, and letting the blood fall into thepansplaced to receive 
the blood of slaughtered animflji 


namber of the most respectable natives of Bengal : A bnimiiodharee of Kritokona, 
after repeatins (Japs') the name of his guardian deity for a long time, till he had 
established a great name as a religions devotee, at length had a dream, in which 
he supposed that his guardian deity told him to make a number of offerings to her, 
,idiich he understood to mean human sacrifices, and that then she would become vi« 
siUe to him, and grant him aU his desires. He was nowivery<nmefa perplexed about 
obtaining the necessary victims,^, and,, as the onlyvresource,' he applied to Krishna* 
chundru^raya, and promised,, that if he would sup[^ the victims, he should share in 
the boiefits to be derived frtei this great act of hcdiness* The raja consented to this^ 
and built a hoase in the mMst of a large plain, where he placed this bromhucharS, and 
directed some chosen servants to seize persons of such and such a description, and 
forward them to the bromhocharee. This was done for a considerable time (some 
say for two or three^ears) till at length the bramhacharS became weak and ema- 
ciated through the- perpetration of so many murders, and the rarja l^gan to suspect 
that there musi be some mistake in the business^ He consulted a learned 'man of 
two near ham, who declared that the brnmhucharee had veiy likely mistaken the 
words spoken to- him in his dream, for that these words might mean simple ofierfngs 
of food^ &c. A thousand victims are said to have been thuff butchered* 

7%€ sacrijiee of a BuU. — In this sacrifice four alfars are required for offering the 
flesh to four gods, Liikshmee-Narayanu, Ooma-muheshwarn, Brnmha, and Unimtfi.' 
Before the sacrifice, Prit'hivSe, the nine planets, and the ten guardian deites of 
the earth are worshipped. Five vilwii,* five khndirn,f five pulasha,:^ and five 

€K>doomburii^ posts are to be erected, and a bull tied to each post. Before the burn<^ 
ing of the flesh, clarified butter is burnt on one altar, and afterwards Imall' pieces 
of the flesh of the ^ughtered animals on the four altars. The succeeding ceremo- 
nies, are common to aM burnt-sacrifices. This sacrifice was formerly very common. 
The Padmu-poorann and Maha-bharoto contain accounts of a great sacrifice of a 
bull performed by Riintee-devii. 

* .£g!e marmeloe. f Mimosa catechcr. t Batea fmnfosB. § Hcus glomerata* 

£64 HISTORY, LITERATURE, akd RELIGION, [Paet ui. Chap. !:?• 

7%e sacrifice of a Horse cUskwA*tnS(BUi)»^^The tmmal must be of one eolanr,* 
tvithout blemish, of good signs, jroung, and well fbrmed* On an anspieiotis day, 
the sacrificer must touch the head of the horse with day from the Ganges, sandal 
wood, a pebble, rice not cleansed from the husk, leares of doorra graB8,t flowers, 
fruits, curds, clarified butter, red lead, a shell, lamp^blaek, turmerid^ mustard^ S^M? 
silver, metal, a lamp, a looking glass, and other things, repeating the prescribed Scht*- 
mulas. The horse is next bathed with water in which has been lODinerGed a ball con* 
posed of the bark of different trees, and spices; and afterwards snperUj caparison* 
ed. The god Indra is then invoked by a number of prayers, and invited tocosoe and 
preserve the horse, which is about to be let loose. A paper is next ftstened on the 
forehead of the horse, containing an inscription in Songskritn to the following pur- 
port : < I liberate this horse having devoted it to be sacrificed. Whoevet* has strength 
to detain it, let him detab it.j; I will come and deliver it. They who ere unable 
to detain it, will let it go, and must come to the sacrifice, bringing tribute.^ The 
horse is then liberated, and runs at liberty for twelve months, followed by servants 
belonging to the sacrificer. At the dose of the year, he is brought and bound ; and 
at the time appointed, a proper place is ehosen and deaased, and aa altar of earth, 
waUed round with bricks, sixteen cubits square, and one tuUt high, is buUt^ with* 
roof over it resting on posts. At the east end a hole is made, and lined with bricks, 
to contain the fire ; or a small terrace of sand may be raised on the altar for receiv- 
ing the fire. Under the roof is suspended a canopy, with elegant curtains on all sides* 
A rope is fastened round the posts of the altar, also branches of the mango tree, tails 
of the cow of Tartary, bells, and garlands of flowers. The sacrificer then, aoom* 

panied with presents, and the reading of diifereilt formulas, appoints to thdr dWerent 
work in the sacrifice, the acharyu, the sudusyo, the. brumha,^ the bota,9 and the 
oodgata, the latter of whom repeats portions of the Samu v6du, sitting on the altar. 
Twenty-one posts, eighteen cubits and ten fingers high, are fixed in the ground, six 

* A white horse is preferred. 4 Aj^roslis linearis. } Tbe p<mrantb give accomls of dKs4M 

wars both amoaf^ gods and men to obtain this horse. 

4 He mvt sit iritliia a cabtt of the fife. ]| Is this fiftariSce«s(«eii hot as we evployed. 

Sacbifice Of A Hom«B.] OF THE HINDOOS. 965 

of Tilwai gix of the khudirtt, six of pfilashn^ one ofpiyalu,* and two of devn-daroo.t 
Each post is to hare eight points at the top, to be covered with painted cloth, and 
encircled with garlands. The six piilashu posts are to be put into the ground with 
iheir heads bent towards the altar. The horse is to be tied to one of the khodini 
posts ; and thirty animals and birds for sacrifice to the other posts. All these animals 
and birds are to be purified by sprinkling water on their frees, and by repeating in- 
cantations* A silver image of GForooru with gold fisathers, and sixteen gold bricks, 
are then to be brought ; after which the sacrificer and his wife are to wash the feet 
of the horse, and caparison him afresh. A &n of deer^s skin is provided to blow the 

coals, abo some koosha grass, with piles of thin twigs of the fig or the pulasha tree ; 
a large pestle and mortar for bruising the rice ; a bowl made 6i .he fig«tree for hold- 
ing the holy water; a wooden spoon to stir the boiling rice; another large one with 
two holes in the bowl to pour the clarified butter on the fire ; another kind of spoon, 
to pour the boiled rice on the fire; a pan of water, having on its top some branches^ 
firuits and flowers, with the image of a man painted on it, and smeared over with 
curds, &;c ; round the neck of the pan a piece of new doth is to be tied, and five ar- 
ticles, viz. gold, silver, a pearl, a coral, and a gem, put into the pan; five smaller 
pans of water are also to be placed near the other, ornamented without in the same 
manner. The horse is then killed by the hota, who divides the flesh into pieces, and 
casts it on the fire, adding clarified butter, and repeating the formulas. When the 

serum is put on the fire, the sacrificer and his wife are to sit upon the altar, and re- 
ceive the fumes. The ether animals are to be next sacrificed, amidst the repeating 

of incantations. These sacrifices are offered to Bramha, Vishnoo^ Sfaivu, and the 
ten guardian duties of the earth. At the close of these ceremonies, the hota casts 
a small quantity of curds on the fire towards the North East ; sprinkles a little wa- 
ter on the fiice of tbe sacrificer and his wife; bathes them by pouring upon them wa- 
ter from the large pan, repeating incantations ; and marks their foreheads, should- 
ers, throats and breasts, with the ashes from the bui*nt curds.^ Thi« sacrifice was 

* €birQiijia«apida. f Pine or fir. 

% Tile maiuen of die Hindoos at the time this sacrifice used to be offered, mnsth&ve been very difTereat 
anam what they are now : a Hindoo female of rank never appears at present in a public assembly, permittinjp 
ther man (o^marJk her forehead with paint, Slc. H h 

266 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Paet in. Chap. iv. 

performed by many of the Hindoo kings, as mentioned in several pooranasw He ' 
who performed one hundred was entitled to the throne of Indro, the king of the gods; 

The sacrifice of an Ass. — The sacrifice is to be performed by a dondee, or other 
religious mendicant, as aaatonement for some fiiult, by which he has lost his station 
as a devotee. After the fire is prepared, Noirita is worshipped; the sacrificer then 
anoints the ass with turmerick, bathes it, and ties it to a vilwu post, and afterwards 
purifies it by repeating incantations and sprinkling it with water. A burnt-sacrifice 
with clarified butter is then ofiered to the ten guardian deities of the earth ; and the 
ceremonies by which a person is created a dundeS, are repeated. The relapsed 
mendicant is now placed near the altar; the ass is slain; and its flesh ofiered to 
Noirita in the burnt-sacrifice, after which the staff is put into the hand of the dundee, 
who addresses petitions to the god Ugnee, and to the dundees who are pres^it. He 
next performs the sacrifice, thinking on Bramha,. and. then closes the whole by dis- 
missing Ugnee, or, in other words, he quenches the fire by pouring curds upon it* 
This sacrifice is supposed to be effectual to all spiritual purposes, but it does not 
restore the dundee to his rank among the same class of mendicants. 

Sacrifice at the birth of a Son. — A father, on first visiting his son,is commanded to 
take a piece of gold in his hand ; and with fire produced by rubbing two pieces of 
wood together, to offer a sacrifice to Brumha, and then anoint the forehead of the. 
child with the clarified butter left on the fingers at the close of the sacrifice. The, 
mother must sit near the altar, and receive the scent of the offerings, having the. 
child in her arms. ' To secure the strength of the child, clarified butter and curds^ 
must be burnt, and prayers repeated. The fiither must also bind, a string of seven • 
or nine threads, and five blades of doorva grass, round the wrist of the child ; and- 
sprinkle water on its forehead with blades of kooshu gi*ass. He Inust also present 
oil and betle to ten or twelve married females, and entertain them at his house. This 
ceremony is never performed at present. 

Sacrifice after death. — The sagnlkn bramhuns, who bum the bodies of the dead 
with the fire kindled at their birth, are directed to make this sacrifice. First, a 


burnt-offering is made with clarified butter ; then the corpse, being washed, is laid 
upon the altar, and the person officiating puts some of the clarified butter to the 
mouth of the deceased; after which the fire is made to surround the body, and a 
prayer -is repeated, that all the sins collected in this body may be destroyed by this 
fire, and the person obtain an excellent heavea. 

S&er^e to the Nine Planets. — Most of the formulas in the preceding sacrffices are 
used in this. The only differences belong to the wood and food burnt, to the images 
of the planets, the dress of the priests, and to the fees presented at the close of the 
ceremony. This sacrifice is made to remove Ae supposed banefiil influence of an 
evil planet. The author once witnessed this ceremony atDalcUtta. 

Other saerifiees. — ^Beside these, many other sacrifices are mentioned in the Hindoo 
Writings : I select the names of a few : Rajii-sooyu, offered by the kshotriyii kings 
to atone for the sin of destroying men in war. — ^Ugnishtomu, b sacrifice to Ugnee. 
— -Jyotishtomu, to obtain a glorious body, and Ayooshtomu, to obtain long life.— 
S&rpugnu, to destroy sndkes. — Mnha-Trnta, to obtain the heaven of Bromfaa. At the 
close of this sacrifice, a bramhtin and his wife are brought out, worshipped, feared, 
and loaded with presents. — Poundoreektl, performed with the flowers of the water- 
lily dipped in clarified butter, in order to obtain Yisbnoo^s heaven. — ^Utiratro, per- 
formed in the last stages of the night, to the god Brsmha. — Vishwti-jatu, to oMain 
universal conquest* — Oindro-dadhee, performed with curds, made fi'om milk tdken 

fi*om the cow'while thetsilf is kept at a distance with a Wig of the ptflashu tree;' the 


whey to be given to a horse. — Pruja-yagn, performed by a king for the good of his 
subjects. — Ritoo-yaga, attended to for six years, the time being varied according td the 
six seasons.— ^urvvn-dokshina ; so called because the fees to the officiating bi^amhuns, 
at the close of the sacrifice, amount to the whole property of the sacr^er.'^ — ^Novu« 
shas-yshtee^ a sacrifice with first finuits to obtain good -harvests. . 

• Ooc of the iftfts proper to be presented to bramhfins i* a penon*t whole property ! See a succeed Ing arll- 
ele; Dikiifi. .Here Che fee at the closeof a sacrifice is a persons aU ! Such n the rapacity of thene priests of ido- 

86» BISTORY, LITERATURE^ akp RELIGION, [Part in. Cumw. ir. 


Bwrnt'Offeringfy (ffomit)^* 

THIS is a particular part of the sacrifiee called yagno, bat at preseat it is ofte» 
performed separately. The things offered are dariiied butter^ sesamum, flowers,, 
boiled rice^ rice boiled iu milk and sweetened with honey^ doorvn-giass^ vilwo leaves^ 
the tender branches, half a span long^ of the oshwutt'hat the doomvaro^l the pula* 
8ha,§ the akoadu,! the shiimee,* and the khodirat trees. Clarified butter alone i» 
sufficient^ but any or all of these things may be added, j; 

The person who wiAea to perform Ais cere m o ay y proTidea a braodiifir aeqpmqit* 
ed with the usual forms, and on the day before the service observea afiisl. The aesft 
day he rises early and bathes^ performing in the mormag Us usmd worship : then 

comifig home, he begina the ceremony in the presence of his friMids^ wkh Ae as- 
sistance of the bramhoB whom he has chosen* First hm sits down^ esther in the 

house or before the door, witk his fiice towards tte east, and maker « square altar 
of four cubits with dean dry sand, upon whidi, wMi a Uade of kooshu-grasS) he 
writes the proper incantation. He then takes a little straw in eadh han^ lights that 
in his left, and tlurows the other away. He repeats this action again, and then laying^ 
down the wisp of lighted straw on Ae altar, repeating^incantatrons, lays upon it the 
wood, and worships the god Ugnee (fireV Haymg^ already provided darifled 
butter^ and placed twigs, half a 9fBn long, by his side, he takes up one of them at a 
time, and, dipping it in the clarified butter, lays it on the fire,, repeating a prayei". 
He may oflfer either eight twigs^ tw«aty-c%ht, enehundred and eight, two hundred 
and eight, or three hundred and eight, and so on till'he be satisfied, or till he think 
the gods have bad darifiecl butter Mough.§ At the doee,^ he puds or pours upenf 

• FtomboOytooTer bySire. t FicwrelifioMw t FTciniaGiBMiS;. f Bilea fromliNi. 

I Ajclepias f^ganCfa. • MimoM albiAu i M&mhi caiechn* t Ihe atohieCcoaitMiy be 

Med io the bont^ f bnt it ft not cmtomary at pKtent. 

^ Tlie Kod Vfftte was once larftUcd with clarified butter^ sod' (oreIieTrbimUrJooD«bnM» whole fitMsl 
aedicioal plaatB^ 

B1.00DY sAoxmcn.] OFTHEHINDOOS* S60 

the fire, phntadns, the leares of the piper betle, and soar milk* He does ihis, as 
they saj, to cool the earthy which, being a goddess, is supposed to have snstaiaed 
some harm bj the heat of the fire. FinaDy, he makes presrats, and entertains 


ffEcnoN yi. 

BlooAf Saerificesy, (Biiiee'dtmu)J* 

TRE reader wiD have obsenred, that for the bumt-sacriioes^ animals were slain 
and offered on the altar. In these sacrifices (Balee-dand) aniinals are slain, bnt the 
ierii is offered rawy and not bwnt on the altar : thisisthediflisreneebetweenthetwo 
sacrifiees* Among die thingy proper for sacrifice are menj bnfialos,. goats, sheep, 
horses^ camels^ deer^ fish, and birds of vsffioos kindfti. At present only bitSdos, 
geats and sheep, aie offered* 


Iflhen an ammnl, fbr esnmpfe a govt, is sacrificed, the fiiDowing fi>nns are use^: 
First, the animal is bathed either with or in water, and then brought before the 
idol, when the oflkdating bramhan paints its horns red^ and whiqpers an incantati<H» 
in its right ear; after whidi, taking the right ear of thegoat in his left hand, with a 
blade ofkooshu-grass he sprinkles the head oftheammal with water^ and repeats 
many incantations; the goat is then worshipped and fed with the offerings; after 
which^ it is led out and fitttened to the stake. The instrunsent of death is next 

In-onght, bathed, smeared with red lend, dnring the repetitioa of an incantation, 
worshipped, and made to touch a burning lamp, that it» edge may not be blunted 
by the power of any incantation. The ofisiating brambiin next pntr Ae instrv 
ment and a flower mto the hand of the slayer, (perhaps the blacksmithX whp pla- 
tes the flower in his hair, and prostrates himself before the idol. Then laying 
down the weapon, hie binds his cloth firmly round his loins, and waits at the post, 
in the excavation of which the neck of the goat is to be placed, till the bramhun has 

* From bfilee, a Mciifice, aod dft, to give. Tbe sliattrtts inclade «11 offerii^ vadct (he mme Mttct i tat aft 
f rOfmt this tena i^coaflatd to the oferuig of the Jieah of animalfc 

270 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Pabt ui. Chap. iv. 

anointed the post with red lead, and placed a sstucer containing a plantain to catch 
Ihe blood. The goat's neck is now fastened in the excavation of the post, with its 
head. on one side and the body on the other. One man pulls its-head by the cord 
round its neck, which has been smeared with red lead, and another pulls -the body. 
The officiating bramhun sprinkles the neck with water, and divides the hair on the 
neck, after which he goes into the presence of the idol, and offers a cloud of incense ; 
and then he and all present, putting their loose garment around their necks, rise, 
and stand before the idol with joined hands ; andwhile they remain in this attitude, 
the executioner, at one Wow,* strikes off the head. The man who holds the body, 
suspends it over the dish containing the plantain, and the blood runs into it; after 
which he lays 'the body down. The officiating bramhun pourssonie water on the 
head, which another person holds in his hand, and afterwards places it before the idol, 
fitstening it on each side with two sticks put into the ground to prevent its moving; 
The^dayer tben.going to the body, cuts a moraeLofthe flesh from the neck, and casts 
it among the blood preserved in the dish, which is now carried and^pli^^ -before -the 
idoK The doors are then shut; a light made with clarified butter is placed on the 
head, and the head is offered to the idol, with appropriate prayers. The whole of 
the blood is next offered, and afterwards divided into four parts and offered, which 
doses the ceremony. 
> • 

* A person in the east of Bengal, who was accnsftomed to Uty aside part of his monthly -saTings to purchase 
ofTerings fortheananal worship of Doorga, was exceedingly alarmed daring the festival one year, when the per- 
son who was to cat off the head-of the sacrifice . (a buffiilo) failM to sever the head from the body at one blow. 
Leaying the sacrifice straggling and half killed, he went np to the ima|;e, ar.d with joined hands cried oat, *■ Oh t 
mother ! why art thou displeased with me ? What have I done ?* His female relations came into the temple, and 
wept before the inagein the most hitler manner, ^e spectators- bega» to reason npon this dreadfal dream- 
stance, imputing the failure in slaughtering the bufialo to different causes, according to their fancies. One 
opinion, among the rest, was, that the owner of the imaf^e wasin no fault, but that the goddess was angry be- 
oaose the offiemting bramh&n had let fall saliva upon the offerings whUe reading the formulas. 



Bathing, (Snanil).* 

BATHING^as an act of purification, always^precedes and sometimes follows other 

ceremonies. It may be performed by pouring \rater on the body in or. out of doors,* • 
or by immersing the body in a pool or a river. . 

A bramhon bathes in the following manner : He first rubs his body with oil, and 
takes with him to the river a towel; a brass cup called, a kosha, flowers, leaves of 
the vilwa tree, and a few seeds of sesamum. Some take along with them a little 
rice, a plantain or two, and sweetmeats. Arriving at the river side, the bramhun, 
hanging a towel round his^ neck, makes a bow, or prostrates himself before the river ; 
then rising rubs his forehead with the water, and offers praise to Ganga. If he has 
omitted his morning duties, he performs them now. Afler this he makes a day 
image of the linga, then descends into the water, and immerses himself twice, hav- 
ing his face towards the north or east. Rising, he invokes some god, and, with 
his fore> finger making circles^ in the water, prays, that all thcholy^ places of the 
river may surround him at once, or rather that all the fruit arising fi*om bathing in 
them may be enjoyed by him. He again immerses himself twice, and, rising, cleanses 
his body, rubbing himself with his towel. He then comes up out of the water, 

wipes his body, and repeats many forms of prayer or praise. This is what properly 
belongs to bathing ; but it is succeeded by repeating the common forms of worship, 
for which the person made preparations in bringing his kosha, flowers, leaves^ 
sesamum, making the linga, &c. 

Bathing, in cases of sickness,. may be performed without immersing the head in 
water, by rubbing the arms, legs, and forehead, with a wet cloth, or by changing 
the clothes,^ or by sprinkling the body with water, and repeating an incantation or 
two^ or by covering the body with the ashes of cow-dung. > 

* From shna, to purify or bathe. f A Hindoo coosidere those clotbei defiled in which he has been 

employed in secalnr concerns. 

«72 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Pabt hi. Chap. iv. 


Drink-offerings to the gods and deceased ancestors^ (T&rpunii).* 

THE Hindoos at the time of bathing, present water daily, to the gods, the sages, 
yokshus, nagas, gandharvtts, iipsoros, nsooros, vidyadhiirtts, pishachus, siddhus, and 
to their deceased ancestors.t This they call turpunu ; which should be performed 
three times a days : those who use the kosha, take up water in it, putting in sesa* 
mum, repeating the proper formulas, and then pouring out the water into the river 
or pool where they are bathing. Those who perform this ceremony without the 
kosha, take up water with their hands, and, repeating a prayer, present it to the 
gods, by pouring it out from the ends of the fingers ; to parents, by letting it fiiU 
betwixt the fingers and thumb of the right hand ; and to the sages, by pouring the 
water out at their wrists. For those who have died in a state of extreme poverty, 
and have no one to perform the ceremonies for the repose of the soul, instead of pour- 
ing it out of the hands, they offer the libation by wringing the doth with which they 
bathe. If the person bathe in any other water, and not in the Ganges, he cannot use 
sesamum, but perfi>rm8 the ceremony with watei* alone« 


The ceremonies of JVorship^ (Poqja.) 

THE following ceremonies in the presence of the idol are what the Hindoos call 
pooja : Previously to entering on this act of idolatry, the person bathes ; returning 
home,t he washes his feet, spreads a blanket, or some other proper thing to sit 
upon, and then sits down before the idol, having the articles necessary for worship 

• From trip&,(o«itiiry. + Seeds tff lesBmom arealao presented io deceftied anccstmi, and, among; the 

fodf » to Ytoft, the rcfent of death, t '^^^ ceremoaiei are frequently performed by the river side. 

C!«RBM0]riB8 OF woBSnip.] OF THIS HINDOOS, S73 

heiowe him : a koslm, or KpttaSbason, and a fco oh a t^ or eanler ono^ « smaB wooden 
ataad, a metal pkle, an iroB stand to hold fire lamps^ a eenser, a brass stand with a 
email shell placed on it, a metal plate on which to place flowers, a metal bowl uito 
which the water and flowers are thrown after they haire been presented to the idol, a 
metal jug for holdings water, a metal plate to be used as a bell, a shell, or sacred 
•eoBch,* wbi<A sounds like a ham, with a nuaibOT of dk^es^ oups, and other utensils 
fbr hoMffl^ rice, paint, incense, b^e, water, nilk, batter, etvds, sweetmeats, flowers, 
^arifled batter, &e. Having all these articles r6ady,t the wovthipper takes water 
&&m the kesha, with the koshee, mtd letting^ it fttt into Ms right hand, drinks it, he 
tfhe9 takes a dh-op aM>re, and then a drop more^ repeating tooantatiens. After this, 
^ith the floger andthwnb of his right hand be tonehet faiH «K>«th, noae, ejes, ears, 
aanel, hreasik, sh o didcja , and the crown of his head, repeaiittg oartain §ovms» He 
Aen waahw his hands, auikes a number of moiions with Us £ngevs, and strike the 
earth with his left heel tlunee times, repeating incantations. When this is done, 

he flirts the first flngw and dMBob of his right hand, waving Ins hand towards the 
ten diTisfons of Ae earth; closes his ejes, and repeats incantations to purify his 
mind, his body, the plaoe where he sits, as weH as the ofierings about to be presented; 
which it IS supposed may ha^e become undean, by having been seen or touched by 
a cat, a dog, a shackal, a shoodru, or a Mosulman* Next, he tsSces a flower, which 
fie lays on his left hand, and, putting his right hand upon it, revolves in his mind the 
form of the god he is worshipping. He then lays the flower on his head, and, 

joining his hands together, closes his eyes, thinks upon the form of the god, that 
he has. a nose, eyes, four arras, four heads, &c. and then recites the outward forms 
of worship in his mind. He now presents the offerings ; flrst, a square piece of 

gold or sihrer, as a «eat for the god, inviting him to come and sit down, or visit 
tira, and then, a^ing the god if he be hapi^, repeats for him, * Very happy/ After 
this, he presents water to wash the feet ; takes up water with the koshee, and pouvs 

it into the metal bowl; and presents at once, rice, a vilwu leaf, eight blades of dSor- 

* Both meo aod wom^n, cm entering a temple, often blow (be concfa or ring the bell, to entertain the god. 

+ In general, when the wocsfaip is performed in the house, a bramhi'.n's wife against the arrival of her bus- 
band from bailing, se^in proper order oil (he articles Qsed in worship, flowers, water, utensils, &c. 


S74 HISTORy, UTERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part iu. Chap. it. 

Ta grass, paint, and water, with incantations. lie then presents water to wash the 
mouth, curds,, sugar^ honej ; then water to wash the mouth again, and water to bathe 
in, with prayers; then cloth, jewels, gold, silver, ornaments, bedsteads^ curtains, 
abed, pillow, cloth, printed cloth, clothes for men, women, or children, shoes, 
brass drinking cups, candlesticks,, and whatever would be proper presents to the 
bramhilns.* After this, paint, either red or white, is presented on a flower; then 
eight or ten flowers; leaves of the vilwo tree; anecklace of flowers; incense ofthcee 
kinds, and a lighted lamp, with incantations. After the bloody sacrifices, the oC- 
ferings are presented, comprising rice, split peas, different kinds of peas^ shaddocks, 
pomegranates, pine-apples, netted custard-apples, another species of custard-apples, 
bread firuit or jakas, mangos, water-melons, cucumbers, plantains, oranges, ginger, 
cocoa nuts, almonds, raisins,f guavas, dates, jarabas, jujubes, wood-apples,. melons, 
sugar-canes, radishes, sweet-petatoes, kesooru, j: water, milk, curds, another sort of 
curds, cream, butter, sour-milk, clarified butter, sugar, sugar-candj, &c. &c. After 
presenting the offerings, tlie person repeats the name of a god for some time, and 
then prostrates himself, (the spectators doing the same) ; putting the cloth round 
his neck, and joining his hands, he o&rs praise to the god,, and prostrates himself 
again : the dinner follows, consisting of fried greens, and several other dishes made 
up of kidney beans, varttakee,^ cocoa nuts, &c. fried together ; split peas and several 
kinds of fried herbs or fruits; four kinds offish; boiled and fried goats." flesh, veni- 
son and turtle ; different fruits prepared with treacle ; rice and milk boiled with 
su^r ; things prepared with pounded rice ; curds, sweetmeats, &c^ The fish, flesh, 
fried greens^ and every thing of this kind is eaten with boiled rice. A dish called 

kechooree, consisting of rice, split peas, clarified butter, turmerick, and spices, 
boiled together, is also presented, and then water to drink. With every article of 
food a separate prayer is offered. Water is next presented to wash the mouth, 

and a straw to pick the teeth, with prayers ; then the hurnt-offering is made, and a 

 It most not be supposed that all these articles are presented daily by the Hindoos. This account describe 
what is performed at festivals. In the daily worship, flowers, leaves, sacred grass, a little rice, &c. are presented. 

+ These and several other articles are imported from forei}(;n coantries, and though they haTC been prepared 
by the bands of the UJiclean,yct the Hindoos make no difficulty In presenting them to their gods, and af(enrar<U 
eating them.' { The root of scirpos maximns. } Solanoflimolongena.. 

.Meditation.] OF THE HINDOOS. 275 

.present of money given. At last the person prostrates himself before the object of 
.worship, and then retires to feast on the offerings with other bramhnns. This is a 
detail of the form of worship on a large scale, at whidi time it occupies the officiat- 
ing bramhon two hours. 


• • - 

Meditaliony (Dhj/an&.)* 


IN this act of devotion, the worshipper (of Shiva for instance) closes his eyes, places 
his arms before him, and repeating the names of the god, ruminates thus : ^ his co- 
' lour is like a mountain of silver ; his body shines like the moon ; he has four arms; 
' in ouQ hand he holds an ax, in another a deer, with another bestows a blessing, and 
^ with the other forbids fear ; he has five &ces, and in each &ce three eyes ; he sits on 
/the water-lily; the gods surround iSm and celebrate bis praise ; he is clothed with 
Uhe s]un of a iyger ; he was before the world; he is the creator of the world ; he re- 
' moves fear jfrom every living creature;' While he meditates on the offerings, he 
proceeds thus: ^Oh! god, I give thee all these excellent things; (recounting in his 
.mind the names of all the offerings, one by one). 

Both these forms of meditation are constantly used at the time of worship (pooja). 
Many things are related in the poorands respecting the meditation known to asce* 
tics, who, by the power ofdhyanu, discovered things the most secret. 


Repeating the names of the gods ^ (JupS.)f 


THE Hindoos believe that the repetition of the name of God is an act of adora- 
tion : some add that the name of Grod is like fire, by which all their sins are consum-* 
ed : hence repeating the names of the idols is a popular ceremony among the Hin^' 

* Fromdhyoi,tothiok« f To^eak. I«S 

HISTORY, LITERATURE^ aic» iSKLIGIONy f Paiit jiu Chut^ U. 

h ibii act die ir onftiipper, taUni; a etriiq: of beaAsj repe«te Hke imm ot hrn ywiw 
^ite imiji or that of any other god, counting by Ws beads, iO, «8, 108, 908, aad ao* 
M^ fciMmfc to every 108 not less than one hunthred more. This act n not ^oacioaa^ 
however, nnless the person keep his mind fixed on the fonn of the idoL Many scow 
lar persons performjopa without beads^ by counting their fingers. 

It is said that a person obtains whatever he seeks by persevering in thfs act of ado^ 
ir^tion. If he be desirous of a wife; or of children ; or of money, (say a lack of roo- 
pees) ; or seek recovery from sickness^ or relief fro« misibrtune, he begins to repeat 
the name of his god, and believes that he soon becomes aubject td his wishes* Japa 
makes an essential part of the daily worship of a Flindbo : some mendicants contioiie 
it day and nighty year after year^ except when eatings sleeping,, hathiag, 8ic^ 

The TuBtru-saru contauis the fbltowiag account ^the oomecration of the bead^ 
roll : The person sits down on the floor of his bouse, and taking some green, red, 
bhick, yellow, and white paint, draws a water-lfly on the ftoor, opon whtch he piseea 
a smpll brass dish ; and upon this,, nine leaves of the oshwut'ha tree, aaMl upon the 
leaves a string of beads, cow's urine, cow dung^ aouv milk, milk, and dariiedbut*^ 
ter, mining them together, and repeating an incantation ; he then places honey, 
sugar, sour milk, milk, and clarified butter, upon the bead-roU, repeating another in- 
cantation ; then some red lead and spices, and then^ with incaolatioas, he gives the 
bead-roll a soul (pranu), and according to the usual fit>ms, worships it, and offers i| 
bumt-oflfering to the god whose name he intends to repeat with this string of beads. 


Forms of^ praise to Hie gods (StuvH.) 

FORMS of praise to the gods constitute a part of the daily vrorsihip of the Hin* 
does. They spring not from emotions of gratitude^ but are repeated as acts* of 

merit, to draw down favours on the obsequious worshipper : In this act, the per- 
son draws his upper gai*ment round his neck^ joins his hands in a soppKcatiug man* 


aer, and rqpeatd the ^rms of praiae wUb a loud voice. Examfkt r^— ^ Oil I Sbivu 1 
thou art aUe io do e verj thtag i T bou ar t the preserver of all ! Thou art the iMalain 
•riifef — To Kartiku : ^ Thou art the god of gods ; therefore 1 nemeto thee, to en- 
tire how I imy repeat the praise of ShSetola^ that she may reBMA'e sweUiiigt oa Ae 

bodj/— To Sheetttla : < I salute Sfa5tula> the goddess^ for ehr caa remove the tes of 

The Hindoos saj, that by praise a person may obtain from the gods (who are fond 
of flattery) whatever he desires. The forms are taken from the shastrQ, though on 
aome occasions a person may recite words of his own invention^ 


Forms of prayer to the gods, (KuvHeHu}^ 

THESEprajrers are principally found in the Tuntrna'; a few in the pooraniis. They 
relate to the wel&re of the petitioner here and hereafter: and are given by a spiri- 
tual guide tahis disciple. Ex. ^ 01 Hunooraan ! when I go eastward^ do thou pre- 
^ serve me I O ! son of Pu vunu ! when I proceed southward^ do thou keep me. O ! 

* beloved son of K^shuree t* when I go westward^ do thou preserve mc O ! Ka« 
^mugna !f keep me fronr danger when I go northward.^ O ! Sagfirii-parugo tj save 

* me when I descend.- O f burner of Liinka ! (Ceylon) deliver me from all daogerr 
^ O ! counsellor of Soogreevu 1 preserve my head.^ In this manner the person ad* 
Besses petitions-tothis monkey-god, as for his head, soforthepreservatioaof eve- 
17 Biember of Ub body^froo^ the forehead tothetoes.^ 

He whe repeats this form twelve times beneath the iirkii tree, wBT obtain long life, 
be the strongest man on ^eartb, and the goddess of fortune will never forsake his 

• KfiMfie ifwviMTM to the aoUicr of Hftmionvi (if narnai^ takt p&c«aa»i« WiBlu€s)»«iidH(iiioo-^ 
wa» the UlegitiBiate too of PIkvl&ntt. 

f This iDookejr-fod is called by this nome, ss the destroyer of evil desire, from kamB, derire, and hKn, tor 
destroy. X Sof &rQy sea, parOgQ, the cnMser, aUuding to bis leapioi^ acnw the wa to Ceylon. 

278 HISTORY, LITERxlTURE, and RELIGION, [Part hi. Chap. it. 

dwelling. If he repeat this kuvrxhn seven times, at midnight, standing in water^ 
he will be able to drive awaj from his body everj idnd of disease; if at any time, 
in any place, he will obtain beauty, eloquence, wisdom, strength, victory, patience, 
and be fi*ee from fear and disease. If any one bind this kuvucha (as a •charm)* oa 

liis arm, he will obtain every desire of his .heart. 


Petitions and votes, (Kainiinil and ManUnu.) 

THE Hindoos are continually resorting to their gods for particular favours: if a 
person wish for a 8on,f or any other blessing, he takes rice, plantains, and sweet- 
meats, and goes to some idol; and after worshipping it, and presenting offerings^' 
asks the god to bless him with a son. This petition is called kamunu ; after putting 
up which, he vows, that' if the god grant his request, he Will offer to him two goats, or 
present him with two loads^ of swe^tme^ts ; this vojv is called manQpu. 

In this manner, the Hindoo asks for different blessings from his god, such as to 
become the servant of some European, or to have sickness removed, or for riches^ 
a house, a wife, or for a son to be married. A woman prays for a husband who is 
absent. A mother prays that her sick child may recover. Thus the poor Hindoo 
carries his property to dumb idols, and knows nothing of the happiness of casting 
all his cares on the glorious Being, <^ who careth for him.'" The vows made at 

such times are various. One promises to sacrifice a goat, a sheep, orat)uffalo; 

• Not only the Hindoos but the Musulnans alto are m«6h attaches to cbarsis. 1 once »w a MCflBImaB 

woman dropping slips of paper info the river, and, upon inqniry, found that they contained some sarred words, 
and that the woman was presenting these papers to tlie rivcf'Saint, Khajakh^jur, in hopes of obtaining relief from 
sickness, seryice, or the^like. 

■f The Hindoos in general never pray for daughter?, because they do not bring much honour to the family ; 
they are expensive, and they can do nothing for the family when the father is dead : whereas a son preserves his 
ftithi^r'a memory, performs the ceremonies fur the repose of his sonl, and nourishes the family by his labours. 

^ That is, as much as a man can carry at twiro in the way the bearers carry water, who put aiNunboo yoke 
on the shoulder, and suspend ajar of water from eath end of the bamboo. 

Pbxitions and vows.] of the HINDOOS. 


another to present sweetmeats, or cloth, ornaments, money, rice, a house, a neck- 
lace, one hundred water-liliey, one thousand tooliisee leaves, or a grand supper. AU 
these offerings come to the bramhons.* 

If the gods do not grant the requests and regard the vows made at these times, 
the worshipper sometimes ventsn his rage in angry expressions, or, if the image be 
in hia ojvn house,^ he dashes it to pieces. Such aji enraged worshipper sometimes 
says— « Oh ! thou forsaken of the goddess Fortune, thou blind god; thou canst look 
upon others,, but art blind to me.' « The gods are dying/ says another, « other- 
wise my five children would not have died; they have eaten my five children at once.* 
' After having worshipped this god so feithfully, and presented so many offerings, 
tliis is the shameful manner in which I am requited.' Words like these are common; 
but this is in times when the passions of the worshippers are touched by the death 
of a child, or by some dreadful misfortune; and those who treat the gods so roughly 
are generally of the lower orders^ 


Vawsy ( Vrui&.y 

CERTAIN ceremonies,, performed at stated times, frequently by females^ are caU 
led by the name vratfi. The foUowing is an example of one of these ceremonies : 
At the fifth of the increase of the moon, in the month Magho, what is called the 
PonchumS- Vruta is performed. On the day before the commencement of this ce- 
remony, the woman who is to perform it, eats food without salt and only once in the 
day, refrains from anointing her body with oil, eats rice that has not been rakde wet 
m cleansing, and puts on new apparel. The following morning she bathes, after 
which the oiSiciating bramhQn arrives at her house, and the things necessary for the 

 The sliattril has declared that no ^flsare to be received from the hands of sboodrtis, except land or virgins. 
If, however, a bramhan have received a forbidden gift, he U directed t» offer it to Vishnoo, and then distribute 
It among bramh&ns, repcaUng, for the removal of his sin, the gayfitrcc one hiudred and eight times, or more. 

280 HISTORY, LlTEIliTURE, and llELIGION, [Part hi. Chap. iv. 

worship are brought, as, a new earthen jar, rice, sweetmeats, a new poite, a pieee 
of new cloth, clarified butti»*, fruits, flowers, Sou The woman presents to the of- 
ficiating bramhun^ who sits in the house on a mat inade of koosho-grass, with his 
face towards the north or east, a piece of new cloth, and, putting a doth over her 
sliottlders, and joining her hands, informs bin that she intends to perform tUe vriitl 
every month fer six jrears^ and prays him to beeome her representative in this work. 
She then rises, and the bramhun, taking the sbalgramfi, places it before him, and 
performs the worship of Vishnoo and I/ukshmS. In the third 9Shd fourth years^ 
on the day preceding and on the day of the worship, she eats rice not made wet in 
cleansing ; the next year, on these days, only fruits ; the following y^&r, on these 
two days, she Ihsts. On the last day, (at which time the six years expire), the of- 
ficiating bramhuns attend, to whom she says, ' 1 have now finished the«ix years* vrotn 
I promised : I pray you to perform another vr&tit/ She then gives to each a piece 
of cloth, a poita, and some betle«nut, and putting a cloth round her nedc, and join- 
ing her hands, begs them to perform the jiecessaiy cei*emonies. Placing the«halgra- 
mu before them, they then perform the worship of Shivu, S65ry d, Gun6shu, V ishnoo, 
and Doorga, in which offerings are made of cloth, sweetmeats, &c. Next they wor- 
ship the woman^s spiritual guide, in which, mnoAgst other things, an offering is made 
of a bamboo plate having on it a namber of articles, and among the rest a piece of 
doth. To this succeeds the worship of Vishnoo, Ldkshmee, and the officiating 
priests. A priest next prepares an altar four cubits square, by spreading sand upon 
the gi'ound. At three of the comers he fixes three pieces of wood, lights some 
straw, and then worships the fire; next he boils rice, and, with clarified butter^ 
presents the burnt-offering. The female now puts a bamboo plate on her head^ 
and walks round the fire seven times; then, standing still, she says, ^O Ugnee ! i 
call thee to witness, that I have performed this vrutii six years/ She says the same 
to the s«n, the shalgramo, and to the bramhuns. Next she gives a fee, and distri- 
butes the gifts to the priests and bramhuns. The bamboo plate which she placed 
on her bead is laid up in the house, and the whole closes with a grand dinner to the 
liramhune and others. This is the fUrm of.a vrutu on a large scale. The Hkdaos 
have, it is said, two or three hundred ceremonies called by tliis name. 

Voir».] OF THE HINDOOS, 281 

SavitrS-yriita. In this ceremony the wife of a Hindoo, in the month Asharhn, 
worships her husband : she first presents to him a new garment, hangs a garland of 
flowers round his neck, rubs his body with red lead and ointments, and while he 
sits on a stool, worships him, by presenting different offerings to him, repeating in- 
cantations, and praying that she may never be separated from him as her husband, 
nor ever become a widow. After a number of other services paid to him, among 
which she makes him partake of a good dinner, she walks round him seven times, 
and then retires. 

Adoril-singhasana-yrBta is observed every day in Yoishakho for one year. During 
the thirty days, thirty women, the wives of bramhtins, are entertained ; a different 
female each day. When the bramhunee arrives, a seat is given her on the porch, 
and the mistress of the house washes her feet, fans her, anoints her head with oil, 
combs her hair, ornaments her forehead with paint, anoints her body with perfumes, 
and employs a female barber to paint the edges of her feet. After this she conducts 
her into the house, where she is fed with all the dainties the house can afford, and 
dismissed with a gift of kourees. On the last of the thirty days, in addition to this 
entertainment, a piece of cloth is presented to a bramhunee. The benefit expected 
from this vrutn is, that the female who thus honours the wives of bramhuns shall be 
highly honoured by her husband in another birth. 

It would be easy to multiply examples, for almost every Hindoo female performs 
one or another of these vratos ;* but this will be sufficient to give the reader an idea 
of these ceremonies ; from the merit of which some expect heaven, others children, 
others riches, others preservation from sidkness, &c. — The vrotos are a very lucra- 
tive source of profit to the bramhuns. 

* Vutt^ are noeoiidicloiial tows to perform certain rrlSf imis ceremonies; but what is called manfiniJ (aee a 
precedios article) U a cooditioiial vaw, promiskig to present otTeriogs on condition that the god bestow sacb or 
toch a benefit. 

S82 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Pabt hi. Cbap. it. 



Fastingj (Oopilvasit.) 

FASTING is another work of merit among the Hindoos. A common fast is con-* 
ducted in the following^ manner : the person abstains on the preceding d^y from rub' 
bing his bodjr with oil, and from eating, except once in the former part of the day. 
The next day he eats nothing; and on the following day he eats once, worships some 
god, and entertains one or more bramhuns. If a person be unable to fast to such a 
degree, he is permitted to take a little milk on the second day; if he be very weak, 
he may add fruit, curds, sweetmeats, &c. 

Some Hindoos fast on the llth* of the increase, and the 12th of the decrease of 
the moon in eveiy month; on the 11th in Shravunu, Bhadni, and Kartikii;t on the 
12th in Shravunti; on the 14th, of the decrease of the moon in Phalgoona ;| on the 
9th in Choitra;^ on the 8th in Bhadro ;|| and on the 8th in Ashwina.* In this month 
many natives of Hindoost'han &st on the first nine days of the moon, in honour of 
Doorga, and observe, as they say, a total abstinence even fi'om water. Fasts precede 
some of the festivals ; afler the death of parents Hindoos fast three days; after that 
of a husband, a wife fasts three days; before offering an atonement, a &st is observ- 
ed; the day any pilgrim arrives at a holy place he fasts ; in fulfilling vows, the Hin- 
doos keep many fests ; some persons enter into a resolution to fast every other day, 
and persevere in this for years. Some renounce rice altogether, and keep a per- 
petual fest, living on milk, fruits, &c. Others (pilgrims) offer a certain fruit to some 

• Widows keep this fast to strictly, Uiat if a widow were dying, and a draught of water would prolong life, 
Jier friends wonld scarcely give it. 

f On the first of these days Yishnoo goes to sleep ; on the second he tarns to the other side ; and on the third 
lie awakes. 

t The occasion of this fast is thus related : On a certain occasion, Doorga asked ShivO what would please 
him most, and be a work of the greatest merit. He replied, to hold a fast in his name on the Uth of the wana 
of the moon in Phalgoontt. 

i The birth-day of Ramil. i Kri»hn5's birth-day. • The time of the Doorga festiTul. 

Gifts.] OF THE HINDOOS. 283 

idol, and renounce this kind of fruit, promising never to eat of it again to the end of 
life. The gods, it is said, delight to see their followers renounce anj thing as an act 
of devotion or attachment to them. This person presents to bramhfilns fruit, thus re« 
nounced, on the anniversary of the day on which he renounced it. — ^Another custom 
bearing a similarity to &sting also prevails among the Hindoos : in the months Ashar* 
hu, Sbravudu, Bhadrii, and Ashwino, many renounce certain articles of diet, and 
others omit to be shaved, as acts of devotion to the srods. 

The blessing expected from fhsting is, that the person will ascend to the heaven 
of that god in whose name he observes the &st. 



Gijis^ (Danii.)* 

PRESENTS to learned bramhnns ; to those less learned ; to unlearned bramhuns ; 
to one whose &ther was a bramhun but bis mother a shoodru, and alms to the poor, 
are called by the name of dana. The things which may be presented are, what- 

ever may be eaten, or worn, or is in use among Hindoos. These are the common 
gifts, but the shastros have pointed out extraordinary gifts ; a daughter in marriage 
without receiving a fee ;t a pool of water ;{: a shalgramn; a house containing food, 

* From da, to give. f The generality of the respectable H'mdoos say, that receiving a fee for a daugh- 

ter ia like selling flesh ; yet the lower orders of bramh&ns commonTy receive mooey oq giving a daughter In marri* 
age. Formerly the Hindoo rajas assisted the bramhQns by giving them moaey for the expences of their weddings* 
A story is related of a raja who was intreated by a bramhSn to bestow a gift upon him for the ezpencesof hb man* 
liage. Hie raja ordered him to put a garland round the neck of tbe flrst woman he met, and let her become 
his wife. The bramhtin went out, and met the rajahs mother returning fh>m bathing. When abovt to pat the 
garland round her neck, she demanded the reason of this strange conduct, which the bramhfin explained. The 
old lady told him to wait, and she would bring about what he wanted : she sat at the door of the palace, and 
compelled her bon to come and invite her in. She replied, that she was become the wife of such a bramhun, and 
diat she must go with her new husband. The raja, thunderstruck, called for the bramhfiu, gave him a thousand 
toopees towards his wedding, and brought his mother into the house again. 

t Pools are dug ever3' year in all parts of Bengal, and ojDfered to all creatures, accompanied with a number of 
ceremonies. J j 3 

S84 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part hi. Chap. w. 

dothes, &c- for twelve months; gold; cows; elephants; horses; palanqueens ; a 
road ; a copy of a pooranu ; a mountain of gold,* silver > brass, rioe^ or other articles j 

land^f a person's w/iole property ,- t/eoy even his life^ 

There are three ways of presenting a gift, one in which the person worships the 
receiver ; another in which he gives as an act of benevolence; and the last, in which 
the giver prays for some blessing on presenting his gift. If a shoSdrS wish to pre-^ 
sent a gift to a bramhun, he bathes, and carries it festing: on arriving in the pre* • 
sence of the bramhnn,. he sprinkles the gift with water^ repeating an incantation that 
it may be thei^eby purified, and then presents it with such words a& these r ^-Sir, I 
have presented to you this gift : let me have your blessing, that 1 may obtain hea* 
▼en, or, that my &ther may obtain heaven^ or that it may be imputed to me as aA 
met of merit.* 

If a man present land to ln*ainhans, he will obtain heaven ;^ if a cow, he will after 
death ride on a cow across the river Voitarunee; if water, after death he vnll find 
refreshing water in his journey to Yumalayu (the residence of Yumu,, the regent of 
dteath) ; if a house to bramhims, he will obtain a palace in. heaven ; if an umbrella 
to a bramhun, he will not suffer in another world firom therajEs of the sun ; if shoes^ 
in his way to heaven he will not sufier from the heat of Ae {ground ; if perfiimes to 
bramhons, he will never after death receive an^Sensivesmell; if medicineto the blind, 
he will be ddivered firom darkness hereafter r if a daughter to a bramhun without a 
fee, he will gain as much as if he had given the whole world- 

* Hie height of these movntatn-gifls h given in the Pbo8hkiKrii>]Lhi!iod5 of the P&dinifpooranfl. It mmt not be 
suppoeed that they are very large ; but it is necessary that fifrures of trees, deer, &c. should be seen on .them. Ia 
one of the smritees is an account of a prostitote who offefed a mouitain of goM. About (he year 1794, Chiinoo* 
ghoshtt, a kaist'hfi of Midnapore, gave to the bramhrms an^ artificial monnlaio of gold. A Utte before this, Gopa- 
K^^krishnfi, avoidy&of Rajt-nrgiir&, presented te the bramh&as three BiooataiDs, one •f goMy^aaother of riee» 
and another of the eeeds of sesamoin^ 

-f It is very common for rich Tand-owners to make presents of land toDramhi^ns* At a shraddfiii for a father 
or a mother, a piece of land, or its value in money, is iavariably given to bramhiUnt, unless the peison be poor. 
Many of the Hindoo rajas sought out poor bramh Qns, and gave them grants of land. A story is related of Kcerttee* 
ehuodrft, raja of Bard wan, who once found a poor fatherless boy, the son of a bramhfin, tendiag cattle ; be gave 
him a village, with as much land as he couM run over without stopping f and disinherited the shoodru who had* 
dared to employ the son of a bramhfin in so mean an occnpation. The same raja ordered a man to be cut Ib 

pieces for refusing to restore to a linunhtta a grant of land which the &nncr had bought in a lot offend, for sa2c» 


8ECTI0K XVni. 


Entctiaimng BramhUns. 

AS m^i be expected^ in a system formed by bramhanS| honouring them with a 
ibast is represented as an act of the highest merits At the close of all religious ce*^ 
remonies^bramhans are entertained; private individuals, during parti^cular holiday?, 
make a feast for one or more bramhiins ', a person on his birth-day, on the anniver* 

sary of the day in which he received the initiating incantation, or at the full moon,^ 
or at any feast, entertains bramhdns. During the whole of the month Yoishakhu^ 
it is very meritorious to give feasts to bramhuns* 


Tarious woris of merii. 

THE Hindoo lawgivers have establiAed sevend customs which,, if separated froai. 
idolatry, would be worthy of the highest eommendatioa; they promise ta the obedi^. 
ent the greatest rewards- in » fitture* state* 

Among these we may place hospitality to strangers.* The traveller, when he 
wishes to rest fbrthe night,^ goes toa house, and says, * \ am otit'hee,'^ i. e. I am to 

be entertained at your house. The master or mistress of the house, if of a hospita^- 


ble dispoRiti(», gives him water to wash his feet,, a seat, tobaceo,^ water ta drink, &c* 
After these refreshments^ they give him firewood, a new earthen pot to cook in,t 
rice, split peas,, oil^ spices, Scc. The next morning he departs,, sometimes without 

* MnDoo>ny6, * No ipieit most be dismissed io the eTeoiag^by a home-keeper : he is sent by the returning sao, 
3ind whether he come in fit season or imseafioiiablyy he must not sojourn in the bouse without entertainment. Let 
sot himself eat any delicate food, without asking his guest to partake of it :, the ntisfaction of a guett wiU anur- 
«d]y bring the house-keeper, wealth, repatatton, long life, and a place In heaven*' 

^ Almost every Hindoo is either constantly or occasionaUy his own cook* 

«* HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Pakt hi. Chap. it. 

fiaying any thing, and at other times he takes leaye.* In the houses of the poor or 
the covetous, a stranger meets with worse entertainment. Not unfrequentlj the 
mistress of the house excuses herself to a person wishing to become a guest, and 
among other things alleges, that there are none but women and children at home. 
It is not very uncommon, for a traveller to go to several houses, and to be refused at 
al}« This is partly owing to fear, that the stranger may plunder the house in the 
night. Where persons have porches at the outside of their houses, they have less 
fear, as the stranger is then kept at a distance. This hospitality to strangers is in- 
deed sometimes abused by a thief, who robs the house and decamps. Yet if a per- 
son refuse to entertain a stranger, the shastru declares that all the sins of the guest 
become his, and his works of merit become the guest's. The traveller sometimes 
murmurs on going away, exclaiming that the people of this village are so depraved, 
that they refuse a handful of rice to a traveller. If a family are unable through 
poverty to entertain a guest, the shastrii orders that they shall beg fcr his relief. The 
stranger after eating must take nothing uncooked from the house. 

A person of the name of Goluka-Chundra-Ilaya, of Serampore, formerly sirkar to 
the Danish East India Company, has particularly distinguished himself in the pre- 
sent day as the most eminent Hindoo in Bengal for liberality to strangers. Upon 
an average, two hundred travellers or mendicants were formerly fed daily at and from 
his house; and it is said thai he expended in this manner fitly thousand roopees an- 

* Tbe Hindoofl hftve no word for ' thank yon,* in their common 1aflg;na|;e, and |^titad/R itwlf appears to con* 
ttitute no part of their virtues. The greatest benefits conferred very rarely meet with even the least acknowledg- 
ment. I have known European physicians perform the most extraordinary cures on tbe bodies of the natives grata- 
itonsly. withouta solitary instance occurring of a single individual returning to acknowledge the favour. Amongst 
the higher orders of Hindoos, however, the master of a honse sometimes says to a guest on his departnre, ' You 
will excuse all Inattention,* and the guest replies, * Oh ? Sir, you are of a distinguished cast ! What shall I »y 
in return for the manner in which I have been entertained : Such food ! surJi a bed ! But this is like younelf. 
No one entertains a guest as you do. May LuksbmeS (the goddess of riches) ever d weU in your house.* 

I suppose, that in all Eastern countries it is a custom for guests to be thus entertained at private houses. Vie 
address ofonr Lord to his disciples seems to intimate tliat such was tlic case among the Jews : *^ And into what- 
soever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy ; and there abide till ye go thence. And whoio- 
ever shall not receive you, when ye depart out of that house,'* dec. 



Another work of charity is the digging of pools by the side of pubUc roftds, to sup- 
ply the thirsty traveUer with water. • The cutting of these ponds, and building flighto 
of steps io order to descend into them, is in niany cases, very expensive : four thou- 
sand roopees are frequently expended in one pond, including the expence attending 
the setting it apart to the use of the public; at which time an assembly of bramhans 
is collected^ and certain formulas from the shastrus read by a priest, amongst which, 
in the name of the offerer, he says, ' I offer this pond of water to quench the thirst 
of mankind.' At the close of the ceremony a feast is given to the assembled bram- 
hiins, who are also dismissed with presents. It is unlawful for the owner ever af- 
terwards to appropriate this pond to his own private use. If the water be very clear 
and sweet, the offerer is complimented as a person with whose merits the gods are 
pleased. A person of Burdwan, of the name ofKamu-palo, is mentioned as having 
prepared as many as a hundred pools in different places, and given them for public 
use. Persons inhabiting villages where water was scarce, used to petition this pub- 
lic benefactor to cut a pool for them, and, after obtaining leave of the raja, he be* 
stowed upon them this necessary blessing.* 

The planting of trees to aflbrd shade to travellers is another act of merit among 
the Hindoos, and, in a hot climate like this, deserves to be chissed among actions 
that are commendable. Some trees also are considered as sacred, and the planting 
of them is therefore deemed a religious act. The trees thus planted are generally 
the ushwut'hii,! the vutu,^ vilwa,^ ashoka,^ vukooln,^ plukshii,6oodoombara,'^ shing- 
shupa,^ tfimalo,^ jeevn-pootree,^ &c At the time of planting these trees, no re- 
ligious ceremony takes place, but when they are dedicated to public or sacred uses, 
the ceremony called protisht^ha is performed. The person who plants one iishwu- 
t'ha,^^ one nimbQ,^^ two chumpukd,^ three nagokeshwuru,^^ seyen talii,^^ and nine 
cocoa nut trees, and devotes them with their fruit, shade, &c. to public uses, is 
promised Jieaven. 

* CutiDii; wells made a aian fiunoiR in patriarchal times : a well, said to be JacoVs weU, ezbted la Saiaa* 
ria at the commencement of the Christian era. John iv. 6, 12. 

1 Ficus religiosa. 9 Ficus Indira. 3 vEgle mannelos. 4 Jonesia asoca. 5 Mimasops elen^. 
6 Ficns veoo^a. 7 Ficas glomerata. 8 Dalbergia Sisso. 9 Xanthocfaymus pictorins. 10 Unascer- 
tained. 11 Picas religioou 13 Melia azadirachta. 33 Michelia cbampaca. 14 Mesoa ferca. 
16 BonusQs flabeUiformii. 

288 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Paet hi- Chap, it- 

About twenty years ago, a land-owner of Pata-dohii, about fourteen mHes from 
Calcutta, planted an orchard by a public road, placed a person to keep it, and de- 
dicated it to the use of travellers of all descriptions, who are permitted to enter it, 
and take as much fruit as they can eat on the spot. Krishnu-vnsoo, of Calcutta, 
made a road* from Kutukn to the temple of Jugunnat'hu in Orissa, and planted a 
double row of fruit trees on the sides of this road for the use of pilgrims going to 
the temple. The pilgrims cook their food, sleep under the shade of these trees, 
and eat the fruit which they yield. He also cut a large pool near the temple, to 
supply these pilgrims with water. Raja Sookhfi-mfiyu of Calcutta, who died in the 
year 1811, left 100,000 roopees to be appropriated to the repairs and improvement 
of the road to the temple of Jagannat'ho in Orissa, and to assist pilgrims going 
there in paying the tax to government. 

In some parts, in the sultry months Voishakhu and Jyoisht'hn, rich Hindoos, as 
«n act of merit, erect sheds by the public roads, and supply travellers gratis with 
water and other refreshments. 

For the comfort of travellers, lodging-houses are erected by opulent Hindoos on 
the side of public roads, in some of which travellers are supplied with refreshments^ 
gratis. \ 


JRteuUng and hearing the Pooranus. 

AT the dose of most of the pooranus, the writers affirm, that it is an kct of the 
greatest merit, extinguishing all sin, for the people to read these works, or hear 
them read. Those principally recited in Bengal, as an act of merit, are the Muha« 
bhariitu, theShree-bhagovata, the Kalika pooranu, the Ootknlo and Kasheekbundos.t 

* Thereare ▼ery few good public roaibia Bengal, f Tliesetwolastworksareparisof theSktindfipoorant. 


Some auspicious day, in the month Kartiku, Maghfi, or Voishakhil, is chosan, 
on the day preceding which the bramhuns are entertained. A shed, covered with 
thatch and open on aU sides, is prepared, sufficiently large, if the ceremony be on a 
grand scale, to accommodate four or five thousand people. At one end, a place ra- 
ther elevated is. prepared for the person who is to read, and the other end, if there 
be a portico to the house, is enclosed by a curtain, from whence the women hear, 
and peep through the crevices. Mats are spread for the people to sit on, the 

bramhims in one place, the kayust'hfis in another,* and theshSodrns in another. On 
the appointed day all take their places : the people, on entering, make prostration 
to the shajgrama and to the bramhans. The person at whose expeuce this is per- 
formed, after bathing, enters the assembly, acquaints the plindits with his design, 
and asks leave to choose those who are to read; to each of whom he presents a piece 
of doth, directing him what to do. The reader (Paf hoka) sits on theele^iited seat; 
below him, on the right and left, sit the examiners (Dharoktis), and before him the 
Siidosyus, who decide upon the exactness of the copy. Two persons (Shrotas), sit in 
front, and, in the name of the householder, hear it read. Before the recitation be- 
gins, a bramhan in his name, presents a gariand of flowers, and some white paint to 
the sbalgi-amn, places very thick garlands on the neck, arms, and head, of the read- 
er, and anoints his breast and forehead with white paint, and afterwards places gar* 
lands round the necks of the bramhans and some of the shoodrus. The Pat^huku 
then, (about nine or teo o^clock in the forenoon), begins to read one of these poo* 
ranus aloud. The first day they sit abovt an hour; but on the succeeding days they 
begin at seven, and continue till twelve; and in the afternoon meet again, when the 
meanmg of what was read in the forenoon in Sangskritii is to be given in Bengalee, 
by the KHt'huku, <or speaker), who takes the seat of the Paffauku, plachg the shal- 
grama upon a stand before him. At times the passions of the multitude are greatly 
moved ; when some one perhaps presents the reader with a piece of money. The 
whole is closed at dusk, when the people retire, and converse upon what they have 

* WlreDakay&st''h6 has a pooranS read at his awn hoose, before the recital OMnmences the officiating bnmhtfn 
^onhips the book, theaathor, and the penon whose actions are celebrated ia this work. nowcn^ rice^ a 
bamt-oiTeriai;, &c. are presented to the book, and to the persons worshipped. 


190 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Paiit hi. Cha^ . it. 

heard. This method is pursued from day to day till the book is finished : the reci« 
^tien of the Mnha-bharutu occupies four months, of the Shr^-bhagaviitu^ about one. 

Some persons entertain the g^uests on the last day instead of the first, dismissing 
the bramhiins with presents. It is said, that not less than 100,000 roopees have 

been sometimes expended by rich men at such recitals. The person who eausea 
these books to be read, is promised great future rewards. 


Sacred Rekearsalsy. (Gettu.)* 

THE Hindoos^ as an act of merit, employ persons to sing those parts of thefr 
shastriis,. which contain the history of their gods* These songs have been composed 
in the Bengalee from the following, among other ahastrus, the Chundee^ Ramayiina, 
the Moha-bharuta, the ShreS-bhagavutTi^ the Gnngii-vakyu-vulee^ the Kaliko, Piid- 
ma, and Shivu pooranus, and the Kashee-khundii. The names of the songs are: 
Kalee-kSrtunn, Unnuda-mongaln, Kiishnu-mungulu, Gunga-bbuktee-tarLnginee, 
Kuvee-kCmknnri, Mfmusa-mnngulQ, Httree-s&ngkieertonu, Peei^r-ganii,Dhuper*ganu» 

As a specimen of the manner in which thig singing is conducted^ I insert an ac- 
count of the performance called Kiivee-kimkimd. Sometimes a rich man bears the 
expence, and at others half a dozen persons Join in it. If the former, he has the re- 
hearsal in his own yard, and if several unite, it is done in some suitable place in the 
village, after the place has been swept, and an awning put over it. Eight or ten 
singers of any cast, attended by fjiir or five musicians, are employed. Upon the 
ancles of all the singers are loose brass rings, which make a jingling noise; in the 

left hand is held a brush made fi^m the tail of the cow of Tartary, and in the right, 
round flat pieces of metal, which by being shook, make a jingling noise. The drum 
continues to beat till all the people have taken their places ; after which the chirf 

* IVOID fSi, S'Bf. 

Sacred'Rehearsals.] OFTHEHINDOOS. £91 

singer steps forth, and after a short preface, begins to sing, moving his feet, wav- 
ing his hands, and now and then dancing. The softer music also plays at intervals, 
and the other singers take parts, waving the cow-tails, and dancing with a slow mo* 
tion. When the passions of the liearers are affected, some throw small pieces of 
money at the feet of the principal singer. The performance continues during the 
day for nearly six homrs, and is renewed again at night* 

These rehearsals are in some instances continued a month : each day a new song 
is chosen. The inferior singers receive about eight-pence a day each; and for this 
trifle, sing till they are black in the face, and become quite hoarse. The perform- 
ance being out of doors, is very un&vourable to vocal efforts, and the exertions of 
the singers are in consequence very painful. The gifts to those singers who excel 
often increase the allowance considei^ably ; and at the time of their dismission, the 
performers have garments. Sec. presented to them. A feast to the bramhons con- 
eludes the rehearsal. Sometimes women are employed, though not frequently. 

The hearin* of these songs, however filthy some of them may be, is considered 

as an act of religious merit 


Hanging lamps in the air. 

IN the month Kartikif , the Hindoos suspend lamps in the air on bamboos, in ho* 
-nour of the gods, and in obedience to the shastras. I cannot learn any other origin of 
this custom than this, that as the offerings of lamps to particiilar gods is consider- 
ed as an act of merit, so this offering to all the gods, during the auspicious month 
Kartiku,is supposed to procure many benefits to the giver. 

Kk 3* 

SJ8 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Pa«t hi. Chap. it. 



Method of preventing family misfortunes. 

IF a Hindoo die on an unludcy day, the shastros declare that not only the whole 
race of such a person, but the very trees of his garden, wIU perish. To prevent 
these direful effects, a ceremony called Pooehkura-shant^ is performed in the night, 
by the river side, or in some plain; where two bramhnns sit on an altar, and wor- 
ship the nine planets, also Yamn, Chitra-gooptQ, Pooshknra-poorooshu,* and the 


shalgramn ; and afterwards offer a sacrifice. One of the bramhuns then makes the 
Ihe images of Yiimu and Pooshkuru-poorooshn^ one with cow-dung and the other 
with paste made of rice. To these images he imparts souls ; worships the knife,' 
slays a fish, and offers it in two parts, with some blood, to the cow dung and paste 
images. The person who performs this ceremony then dismisses the two bramhuns 
with fees^ and avoids seeing their faces any more on that night. 


Ceremonj/for removing the evils foBomng bad omens. , 

IF a thunder-bolt fiJl on a house ; if a vulture, or hargiUa, (the gigantic crane), 
alight on it; or if shackals or owls lodge in it ; or if a shadal howl in the yard in 
the day time,-^ome evil will befall the persons living in tliis house. To prevent 
this, the ceremony called Udbhootu-shantee is performed ; which comprises the worir 
ship of Bramha, and other gods, the burnt-sacrifice, repeating the name of a certaia 
deity, &c. 

• Yiimfi is (he judge of (be dead $ CtiitriHp>opt& b bb reo6rdcr» and Pooibk6r&-pooiooiU, a kiad of inferior 
deUjr> who resides with YSmtt. 



Ctremomes performed while sitting an a dead body. 

IN the former edition of this work I inserted a pretty long account of a number 
of strange ceremonies, principallv drawn from the tfintrus, and known under the 
name of Sadhond. One of these rites is performed while sitting on a dead bodj ; 
and the whole are practised under the superstitious notion that ^e worshipper will 
obtain an interview with his guardian deitj, and be impowered to work miracles. . 

The late RamQ'Krishna, raja of Natord, employed the greater part of his time 
in repeating the name of bis guardian deity, and in other gloomy and intoxicating 
rites. The princess who had adopted him, and who had become his spiritual guide^ 
was offended on perceiving his turn of mind. A little before his death, he perform- 
ed the Shiivu-sadhiinQ, and his house steward, a bramhan, provided for him a dead 
body and other necessary articles ; and it is affirmed, that while the raja was sit* 
ting on the dead body, (which was placed in the temple of Kalee, built by the raja 
at Natorii),* he was thrown from it to the river Narada, a distance of about half a 
mile. After a long search, the raja was found on this spot in a state of insensibili- 
ty, and in a few days after he died. I give this story as it was related to me by two 
or three liramhoBS* That the raja performed the Shuvii-sadhiina is very probable* 


Ceremonies for remocingy subduing or destroying^ enemies, j 

THE t&ntrn shastros and even the v6dtts have laid down the forms of an act of 
worship to remove an enemy to a distance, to bring him into subjection, or to de« 
atroy him. This worship is addressed to theyoginees, or other inferior deities, be* 

• Hie raja is aaid to have endowed this temple with lands, Ac. of the anaual valne of 100,000 roopeei* 

294 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part in. Chap, it, 

fere a female image made of cow-dung, or a pan of water, on a Tuesday or Satur- 
day, at the darkest hour of the night. Many incantations are repeated, and some 
bloody sacrifices offered. The worshipper expects, that by the power of the^e iu* 
cantations his enemy will be seized with some di*eadful disease, and will thus perish 
by the unseen hand of the yoginees. If a person hear that his enemy is performing 
these ceremonies for his destruction, he pays another person to perform similar rites^ 
to prevent any evil arising to him. 

The Hindoos have also a great variety of incantations which are supposed to 
possess the same power as charms in Europe.* For destroying the cattle or goods 
of an enemy, incantations are used; as well as to hinder cows from calving, milk 
from yielding butter, &c. Another incantation is used to extract fish bones from the 
throat. They have incantations also for almost every disease; as, the head-ach, 
tooth-ach, fever, dysentery, leprosy, madness, burns, scalds, eruptions on the skin, 
&c« In the tooth-ach they are taught to imagine that by the power of the incanta- 
tion a small grub is extracted from the tooth. An incantation is repeated to make a 
tree grow in the belly of an enemy, as well as to obtain preservation from snakes, 
tygers, witches, ghosts^ and all other destructive things ; and to drive away serpents, 
or wild beasts. If any one has been robbed, he prevails upon a person to read an 
incantation to discover the thief. If any one, who has power to injure another, be 
offended, the Hindoos read an incantation to appease him. If a person has a trial 
depending in a court of justice, he reads an incantation while putting on his turban, 
that he may gain his cause. The cast of Hindoos who keep snakes for a shew, re- 
peat incantations that they may handle these snakes without harm. Other incanta- 
tions are mentioned by which a person is able to conceal himself, when in the act of 
doing any thing requiring secrecy. 

* Some incaotations ransl be read ever3f day, otJien preserve their poorer three, aod some eight days ; bit no 
iacamatioD vUl keep good longer than eight days without being read afresh. 

IiiPtjRE Orgies.] OF THE HINDOOS. t95 


Impure Orgies, withjleshy spirituous liquors, S^c. (PoorndbhiskikH.) 

SOME of the worshippers of the female deities assume the profession ofbriim* 
hocharees, among whom the ceremony called poomabhishekii is known, and which 
18 performed in the night, in a secret manner, at the house of the person who un- 
derstands the formulas. He who wishes to be initiated into these rite;, raises 
an altar of earth in the house appointed, and scatters some peas on it, which sprout 

out by the time the altar is used. On the day preceding the rites, he performs the 
▼riddhee shraddhu in the name of his deceased ancestors, and during the whole of 
the following night, repeats the name of the goddess to be worshipped, rehearses 
her praise, eats flesh, drinks spirits, &c. On the following day, he takes to the 
house appointed some flesh (of any animal), spirituous liquors, rice, fish, and many 
other olferings, with nine females of different casts, one of which must be a bramhnn's 
daughter, and nine men, (bramhucharees), with one female for the priest and ano- 
ther for himself. The priest next takes nine pans of water, and places on them 

branches of different trees, and sets up some plantain trunks around them, after 
which the person to be initiated presents a garment to the priest^ and intreats him 

to anoint him. The priest then offers to the goddess, an intoxicating beverage made 
with the leaves of hemp, of which all present, both women and men, partake. He 
next rubs on the fcNreheads of the persons present some red lead, and worships the 
goddess, the guardian deity of the person to be initiated, making the latter repeat 
it^ and worships the men and women who are present, presenting to each a piece 
of doth and other offerings. Next the priest gives to the women spiritAom 

liquors, in cups made of the cocoa nut, or of human skulls. What they leave is 
taken out of the cups, mixed together, and given to the men. The women than 
arise one by one, and, dipping the branches into the pans of water, sprinkle the per- 
son to be initiated, repeating Incantations. This action is repeated by the priest^ 
who changes the name of the disciple, and gives him one expressive of the state 

298 HISTORY, LITERATURE, kvA RELIGDON, [Pa»t hi. Ohaf. iv. 

into which he is entering, as, Aniindu-nat'hu, i. e. the lord of joj. If after this the 
disciple should become a religious mendicant, he is called a Yyiiktavn-dhootii. If he 
continue in a secular state, he is called a Gooptavu-dhootu.* All the persons pre* 
sent continue repeating the names of their guardian deities, and at intenrals par- 
take of the offerings, without considering the distinctions of cast, or the unlawfid- 
ness of the food* After midnight, acts of obscenity are prepetrated, so abominaUe, 
that the bramhun who gave me this account could only repeat them in part.t After 
this, the priest worships one or more females, the daughters of bramhuns, and sa« 
crifices a goat to Bhilgavutee. The initiated then offers a present of money to the 
priest, and to the females and males, present. The remainder of the night is spent 
in eating, drinking spirits, and repeating the names of different deities. These abo* 
minable ceremonies are enjoined in most of the tiintra shastrcis. The bramhon 

who gave me this account had procured it from a bromhocharSS by pretending that 
lie wished to perform these rites. 

In the year 1809, Trikonu-goswamSS, a vyi^ktavn-dhootfi, died at Kalec-^hatn, in 
the following manner : Three days before his death he dug a grave near his hut, 
in a place surrounded by three vilwa trees, which he himself had planted. In the 
evening he placed a lamp in the grave, in which he made an offering of flesh, greens, 
rice, &c. to the shackals, repeating it the next evening. The following day be 
obtained from a rich native ten roopees worth of spirituous liquors, and invited a 
number of mendicants, who sat drinking with him till twelve at noon, when he asked 
•among the spectators at what hour it would be full moon ; being informed, he went 
and sat in his grave, and continued drinking liquors. Just before the time for the 
full moon, he turned his head towards the temple of Kalee, and informed the spec* 
tators, that he had come to KalS-ghata with the hope of seeing the goddess, not 


* .The first of these two names implies, that the person makes no secret of his bcini; in the order into which 
he is initiated. He therefore becomes a religions mendicant, and pnbliclkly drioks spirits and smokes intozi* 
eating herbs. The latter, after initiation, continues in a secular state, and drinks spirituous liqoon in secret. 

f Itama-nat'hC, the second Sfingskrit* piindlt in the college, informed a friend of mine, that he once watched 
one of these groups unobserved, when spirits were poured on the bead of a naked woman, while aaotherdr^nk 
(kem as they ran from her body. 


the image in the temple. He had frequently been urged by different persons to 
visit the temple, but though he had not assigned a reason for his omission, he noir 
asked, what he was to go and see there : a temple ? He could see that were he was. 
A piece of stone made into a face, <»* the silver hands ? He could see stones and sil- 
ver any where else. He wished to see the goddess herself, but he had not, in this 
body, obtained the sight. ^ However, he bad ettU a mouth and a tongue, and he would 
again call upon her:' he then called out aloud twice < Kalee! Kaleel' and almost 
immediately di^ ; — probably from excessive intoxication. The spectators, though 
Hindoos, (who in general despise a drunkard), considered this man as a great saint, 
who had foreseen his own death when in health : he had not less than four hundred 

The persons who have gone through the ceremony of Poomabhlsheku conceal this 
fact as much as possible, as the drinking of spirits is disgraceful. They renounce all 
the ceremonies of the other Hindoos, as far as they can do it without incurring dis* 
grace and loss of cast. 

Two bramhnns who sat with me when I was finishing this account, assured me, 
that the driiiking of spirits was now so. common, that out of sixteen Hindoos, two 
drank spirits in secret, and about one in sixteen in public* Several of the Hindoo 
rajas, who had received the initiating incantations of the female deities, are said to 
have given themselves up to the greatest excesses in drinking spirits. 

* l^ey fl^r, or pretend to ^Wer, these spiritf to the idols, and tSien, tbe driokhif , w driokisf? to excen, la 
no crime, in the opinion of these br&mhficharies. Amongst the re|pilar Hindoos, the etttiiig of flesh is a crim^ 
hnt eating flesh that has been oflTered to an image is an innocent action. 


«98 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Pari in. Chap. iy. 


Burning of Widows o/be. 

THE following and other passages from the Hindoo shastros hare no doubt gi- 
ven rise to this singularly shocking practice. 

*0 Fire, let these women, with bodies anointed with clarified butter, eyes (colour- 
ed) with stibium, and void of tears, enter thee, the parent of water, that they may 
not be separated from their husbands, but may be in union with excellent husbands, 
be sinless, and jewels among women.'— i?tg-t)^2. 

' There are 35,000,000 hairs on the human body. The woman who ascends 
the pUe with her husband, will remain so many years in heaven.' * As the snake 
catcher draws the serpent from its hole, so she, rescuing her husband (from beU) 
rejoices with him.' < The woman who expires on the funeral pile with her husband 
punfies the family of her mother, her father, and Jier husband.' « If the husband 
be a bramhonicide, an luigratefiil person, or a murderer, of his friend, the wife by 
burning with him purges away his sins,' ' There is no virtue greater than a vir- 
tuous* woman's burning herself with her husband.' ' No other effectual duty is 
known for virtuous women, at any time after the death of their lords, except casting 
themselves into the same fire.' * As long as a woman, in her successive transmi- 
grations, shall decline burning herself, like a faithful wife, on the same fire with her 
deceased lord, so long shall she not be exempted from springing again to life in the 
body of some female animal.' — Unsira. 

• The terms $adhwee and Sttlcc, here rendered virtuous, are thus explained by Harcetft, < commisserating with 
her husband in trouble, rejoicing in his joys, nejfiectinir hericlf when he is pone from home, and dyinjr at bis 
death.' In the MfitsbyS pooranS it is said, • By the favour of a chaste woman ( Sadhwcc), the univerM is pr«- 
•erved, on which account she is to be regarded by kings and people as a goddess.' 


^ ' If a woman who had despised her husband, and had done what was contrarj to 
his mind, should (even) from mercenary motives, as fear, or a suspension of the 
reasoning powers, die with her husband, she shall be purged from all (crimes)/ — 

' M&ha*bhardtit. 

^ Though he have sunk to a region of torment, be restrained in dreadful bonds, 
have reached the place of anguish, be seized by the imps of Yuma ; be exhausted 
' of strength, and afflicted and tortured for his crimes ; stiU, as a serpent^catcher 
unerringly drags a serpent from his hole, so does she draw her husband from hell, 
and ascend with him to heaven by the power of devotion/ ^ If the wife be within 
one day^s journey of the place where the husband died, and signify her wish to bum 
with him, the burning of his corpse shall be delayed till her arrival/ ^ If the hus« 
band die on the third day of the wife*s menstrual discharge, and she desire to bum 
With him, the burning of his corpse shall be delayed one day to accommodate her/ 
— VyasU. 

' ir the husband be out of the countiy when he dies, let the virtuous wife take 
his slippers (or any thing else which belongs to his dress) and binding them (or it) 
on her breast, after purification, enter a separate fire/ — Br&mhH poarmil. 

^ A bramhanSe cannot bum herself on a separate pile. — GautHtnU. But this is 
an eminent virtue in another woman/— 'OosAuiia. 

' A woman with a young child, pregnant, doubtful whether she is pregnant or not, 
or menstruous, cannot ascend the pile/ — VrihUn'fioritdeey&pooranti. The Vishnoo 
poorana adds, * or lately brought to bed (within 30 or 30 days), cannot,' &c. 

I do not find, that it is common for women to reveal their intention of being burnt 
with their husbatids while both parties are in health. A few, however, avow this 
in confidence to their husbands, and there may be circumstances in the fiimily which 
may lead to the expectation of such an event. In some femilies, for several gene- 


300 HISTORY, LlTERATUllE, akd RELIGION, [Paht inXHAF. ir. 

rationd, the widow inyariably perisbes at the death of her husband ; and thus, esta- 
blished custom exacts this self-immolation from ereiy woman who has been so a- 
happy as to have became united to such a fitmilj. How shocking to the female her* 
self, had she christian feelings, to know that such a death awaits her i How shoci^- 

ing to the son, had he the feelings of a man, to know that he is doomed to perpe« 
trate so horrible a matricide ! 

When the husband is directed by the physician to be carried to the river side, there 
being then no hopes of his recovery, the wife declares her resolution to be burnt with 
him.* In this case, she is treated with great respect by her neighbours, who bring 
her delicate food, &c. and when the husband is dead, she again declares her resolu« 
tion to be burnt with his body. Having broken a small branch from the maogo 
tree, ^e takes it with her, and proceeds to the body, where she sits down. The 
barber then paints the sides of her feet red ; after which she bathes, and puts on new 
clothes. During these preparations, the drum beats a certain sound, by which it 
is known, that a widow is about to be burnt with the corpse of her husband. On 
hearing this all the village assembles. The son, or if there be no son, a relation, or 
the head man of the village, provides the articles necessary ibr the ceremony. A hole 
is first dug in the ground, i*ound which stakes are driven into the earth, and thick 
green stakes laid across to form a kind of bed ; and upon these are laid, in abun- 
dance, dry fa;9:gots, hemp, clarified butter, pitch, &e. The officiating bramhon now 
causes the widow to repeat the formulas, in which she prays, that ^ as long as four- 
teen Indrus reign, or as many years as there are hairs on her head, she may abide 
.in heaven with her husband ; that tiie heavenly dancers during this time may wait on 
her and her husband, and that by this act of merit all the ancestors of her iather, 
mother, and husband, may ascend to heaven.' She now presents her ornaments to 
her friends, ties some red cotton on both wrists, puts two new combs in her hair, 

paints her forehead, and takes into the end of the cloth that she wears some parched 
rice and kourees. While this is going forward, the dead body is anointed with 

* ^^i>? ^ ttie si^ht of the Canines is not consMered at abwilately mecemMTj^ hameww^ if a woman petiA 
with the dead ^ody, and sonetimn a wffe f«)rbids the removal of her sick hasband, assuring her friends, that Ac 
neaos to be burnt, aud this make the aalvatioii of her husband certain without the help of Guni^a. 


BujiKiriNe OF wxjM)wg ALiTE.] OF THE HINDOOS. 301 

clarified butter aad batlied, prayers are repeated over it^ and it k dressed in new 
clothes. The son next takes a handful of boiled rice, prepared for the purpose^i 
and, repeating an incantation, offers it in the name of his deceased ikther. Ropf^s 
and another piece of doth are spread upon the wood, and the dead bodj is then laid 
upon the pile. The widow next walks round the funeral pile seven times, strewing 
parched rice aad kourees as she goes, which some of the spectators endeavour to 
catch, under the idea that thej will cure diseases.* The widow now ascends the 
&tal pile, or rather throws herself down upon it by the side of the dead body. A 
&w female ornaments having been laid over her ; the ropes are drawn over the bo- 
dies which are tied together, and feggots placed upon them. The son, then, averting 
his head, puts fire to the fece of bin &ther, and at the same moment several persons 
light the pile at different sides, when women, relations, &c. set up a cry : more &g- 
gots are now thrown upon the pile with haste, and two bamboo levers are brought 
over the whole, to hold down the bodies and the pile.t Several persons are em« 
ployed in holding down these levers, and others in throwing water upon them, that 

they may not be scorched. While the fine is burning, more clarified butter, pitch, and 
faggots, are thrown into it, till the bodies are consumed. It may take about two 
nours before the whole is burnt, but I conceive the woman must be dead in a few 
minutes after the fire has been kindled. At the close, each of the persons who have 
been employed, takes up a burning stick and throws it on the remaining fire. The 
bones, &c. that may be lefl, are cast into the Ganges. The place where the bodies 
have been burnt is plentifully washed with water, after which the son of the deceas- 
ed makes two balls of boiled rice, and, with an incantation, offers them in the name 
of his fiither and mother, and lays them on the spot where they were burnt. The 
persons who have been engaged in burning the bodies now bathe, and each one, tak- 
ing up water in his hands three times, and repeating incantations, pours out drink- 
offerings to the deceased. The son binds upon his loins, in coming up out of the 
water, a shred of new doth, which he wears, if a bramhuu, ten days : after this the 

* Motbera hang the koorecs round the necks of bick children. + A person aometimei takes 

«#ie of these bam1>oo9, after the bodies are burnt, and, making a bow ud arrow with it, repeaU intantationt 
over it. He then makci an imai^ of some enemy with clay, and. lets fly the arrow into this imace. The per* 
■OB whose ima^ b thns pierced is said to be immediately seized with a pain in his breast. 

302 HISTORY^ LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Pakt hi. Ghap. iv. 

Iimiljr return home, or remain till evening, or, if the burning has taken place in the 
evening, till the next morning. Before entering the house, they touch a piece of 
hot iron, and also fire. This is done as a charm against evil spirits. 

Soon after my arrival in Bengal, I was an eye-witness to two instances of the burn- 
ing of widows to death : On the latter occasion two women were burnt together ; 
one of them appeared to possess great resolution, but the other was almost dead 
with fear. In the year 1812, I saw another widow burnt to death at Soonduro-poorQ, 
a distance of about three miles from Serampore ; and in the mouth of November, 1812, 

the wife of Ramu-nidhee, a banker, of Serampore, was burnt alive with the dead 
1)ody of her husband, not half a mile from the Mission-house. These &cts respect- 
ing the murder df the helpless widow as a religious ceremony, are indeed so notori- 
ous, that the most careless traveller may convince himself, if he take the least notice 
of what is doing on the banks of the river. The natives do not attempt to hide 
these murders, but rather glory in them as proofs of the divine nature of their reli- 
gion. The facts hereafter inserted have been voluntarily given to me by respectable 
natives, most of whom were eye-witnesses of what they here testify. 

Several years ago, Ram-Nat'hn, the second Sdngskritn pundit in the college of 
Fort- William, saw thirteen women burn themselves with one Mooktua-ramn, of Cola, 

near Shantec-pooru. After the pile, which was very large, had been set on fire, a 
quantity of pitch being previously thrown into it to make it burn the fiercer, another 
of this man^s wives came, and insisted on burning: while she was repeating the for- 
mulas, however, her resolution &iled, and she wished to escape ; but her son, per- 
ceiving this, pushed her into the fire, which had been kindled on the sloping bank of 
the river, and the poor woman, to save herself, caught hold of another woman^ a m& 
also of the deceased, and pulled her into the fire, where they both perished. 

About the year 1789, Ubhiiyn-chnrunu, a bramhun, saw four women burnt with 
Uama-kantii, a koolinu bramhun, at Vasu-dnroonee, near Kalee-ghata. Three of 
these women were already surrounded by the flames when the fourth airived. She 

insisted on being burnt with them ; accordingly, after going rapidly through the 


preparatory ceremonies (the brambiins in the mean time bringing a large quantity 
of combustible materials), some fresh wood was laid near the fire already kindled, 
upon which this in&tuated female threw herself. In a moment faggots, oil,.pitch> 
Sec. were thrown upon her, and, amidst the shouts of the mob, she expired.. 

Ramti-Haree, a bramhun, had three wives liTing at Khiirudah, near Calcutta, at 
the time of his death, about the year 180S. One of them was deranged ; with ano- 
ther he had never cohabited, and by the other he had one son. The latter had 
agreed with her husband, that whenever he should die, she would burn with him ; 
and he promised her, that if he died at Patna, where hi? employer lived, the body 
should be sent down to KhQrodnh. This woman touched her busband^s body at the 
time of this agreement as a solemn ratification* of what she said.t After some time 
this man died at Patna, and a friend fastened the body in a box, and sent it down on 
a boat. As soon as it arrived at Khurodah, the neWs was sent to his relations. The 
wife who had made the agreement feiled in her resolution, and sat in the house weep- 
ing. Her son, who was grown to manhood, ordered her repeatedly, in the most brutal 
manner, to proceed to the funeral pile; and reminded her, that it was through her 
that his father's body had been brought so far; but she refused, and still remained 
weeping. While this was going forward, the deranged wife, hearing that her hus- 
band was dead, and that his body had arrived at the lftnding«>place, instantly declared 

* The Hindoot also make oath while tonchiai; one of the Ehastrtb, or the sha1<rraini5, or a cow, or fire, or the 
toolfisee, or a roodrakshA string of beads, or rice. When made before a bramhQDy or in a temple, or by lay- 
ing the hand on the head of a son, an oath is ratified. 

+ The Hindoos relate a nnmber of stories retpecting women who promised their husbands to burn i^itb tbe^i, 
bat afterwards shrank from the task. A story of this kind is related of a man named GopalC-bharu, i«ho pre- 
tended to die, in order to try the faithfulness of his wife. As soon as 8he thought he was really dead, she declar- 
ed she would not die on his funeral pile, ^ ben the (supposed) dead man arose, and upbraided her for her insinse- 
r»ty. Another story b related of ShCmhhoo-ram(^, of Arachya, in Uurdwan, who had three wives, but was 
most attached to the youhgest. This woman had promised her husband to burn m ith him after his death, and he 
had in consequence behaved with the grea(e<:t coolness touards his other wires, and had heaped all h»»weakh 
on this favoorite. A person suggested donhts respecting the sincerity of thit woman's declaraiion. To iry her, 
on a certain occasion, when absent from home, hrr hi>>band sent a relation to say he T^aj; d*'ad, and to urge her 
to go to the spot to be burnt with him. As soon as she beard ihe tidings, tmtead of proceeding lo the spot where 
the body was supposed to be waiting, she locJied up all the jewels, &c. her husband had given her, and set her 
husband's relations at defiance. In a few hours the (dead) husband arrived , degraded this wife, ami for the 
future became more attached (o the other two. 

304 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and REUGIOM^ [Part hi. Chap. it. 

that she would burn with him. The people endeavoured to terrify her, and divert 
her from her purpose ; but she peruated in affirming that she would positively bum. 
She came to the house, and poured the most bitter reproadies on tke wife who was 
unwilling to die. This poor deranged wretch luad a chain on ber kg : a spectator 
proposed to take it off, and lead her to the funeral pile ; and the third wife arriving, 
she was led with this deranged woman to the bod j : the wood and other articles for 
the funeral pile were prepared, and a large crowd had assembled by the river side. 
As soon as the deranged wife saw the dead body, which was very BUich disfigured, 
and exceedingly offensive, she declared it was not her husband; that in &ct they 
were gouig to burn her with a dead cow. She poured curses on them all, and pro- 
tested she would not burn with a dead cow.* The otlier female, who had never 
touched her husband, except at the marriage ceremony, was then bound to thb 
putrid carcase, and devoured by the flames. 

About the year 1796, the following most shocking and atrocious murder, under 
the name of siihii-murcinu,f was prepetrated at M njil-poorri, about a day's jour- 
ney south from Calcutta. Bancha-ramn, a bramhun of the above place, dying, 
his wife at a late hour went to be burnt with the body : all the previous ceremonies 
were performed ; she was fastened on the pile, and the fire was kindled ; but the night 
was dark and f;ieiiny. When the fire began to scorch this poor woman, she contriv- 
ed to disentangle herself from the dead body, and creeping from under the pile, 
hid herself among some brush-wood. In a little time it was discovered that there was 
only one body on the pile. The relations immediately took the alarm, and search- 
ed for the poor wretch ; the son soon dragged her forth, and insisted that she should 
throw herself on the pile again, or drown or hang herself. She pleaded for her life 
at the hands of her own son, and declared that she could not embrace so horrid a 
death — ^but she pleaded in vain : the son urged, that he should lose his cast, and that 
therefore he would die, or she should. Unable to persuade her to hang or drown 
herself, the son and the others present then tied her hands and feet, and threw her on 
the funeral pile, where she quickly perished. 

* In the month of Jontiary, 1813, a poor deranged woman was burnt alive witli the eorpse of ber bii4iaiid» 
R&i;hoo*nat'h5, a bramhCn^ at B&J Qra*poortt, in Uie zUlah of KrifbaO-Dfig&rS. f SUi&, with ) nilrCAfi, death. 

BuRjriicG OF wiDc%g AMVE.] O F T H E H I N D O O S. 305 

Gopee-nat'ha, a bramhon emplojed in the Serampore printing-ofBoe, was iaform- 
ed by his nephew that in the year 1799, he saw thirty-seven females burnt alive with 
the remains of Uniyita-rami], a bramhon of Bagna-para, near Nudeeya. This koo- 
15nQ bramhun had more than a hundred wives. At the first kindling of the fire, only 
three of them were present; but the fire was kepi burning three days ! When one or 
more arrived, the ceremonies were performed, and they threw themsekeson the blas^' 
ittgfire ! On the first day, three were burnt; on the second fifteen, and on the third 
nineteen ! Among these some were forty years old, and others as young as sixteen. 
The three first had lived with this bramhon; the others had seldom seen him. From 
one fiimily he had married four sisters ; two of these were amimg the slaughtered 

In the year 1812, a koolSSatt bramhun, who had married twenty*fi ve women, died 
at Choooa-khalee. Thirteen died during his life time; the remaining twelve perish*- 
ed wiih him on the funeral pile, leaving thirty children to deplore the fiital efiecU 
^this horrid systenu 

Some years ago, a kooleenii bramhun, of considerable property, died at Sookh9« 
dioru, three miles east of Serampore. He had married more than forty women, 
eightem of.whom perished on the funeral pile. On this occasion a fire extending 
ten or twelve yards in length was prepared, into which they threw themselves, leav* 
ing men thaa forty cliikir«iL 

About tlie year 18QS, the wife of a man of property of the writer cast, was burnt 
at KashS'pooro, in the suburbs of Calcutta. The bramhon who witnessed this scene 
informed me that, when he went to the spot, he saw a vast crowd of people assem* 
bled, and amongst the rest the above female, a girl about fourteen years old, and 
%nother female, of a difierent cast, who had cohabited with the deceased. The g^rl 
addressed herself to the mistress of her husband, and asked her what she did there : 
it was true, her husband had never loved her ; nor had he for one day since their 
marriage lived with her, yet she was now resolved to enjoy his company after death. 

M m 


She added, (continuing her address to the mistress of her husband), ' If, however, 
you will accompany him, come, let us burn together; if not, arise and depart.' She 
then asked the woman what her husband had bequeathed to her, and was answered 
that he had given her twenty-five roopees, and some clothes. To this the wife of 
the deceased added twenty-five more. After this conversation, the bramhnns has- 
tened the ceremonies ; her firiends entreated her to eat some sweetmeats, but she 
declined it, and declared that she would eat nothing but that which she came to eat 
(fire). At this time the clouds gathered thick, and there was the appearance of heavy 
rain : some persons urged delay till the rain was over ; but she requested them to 
hasten the business, for she was ready » A bramhun now arrived, and entreated the 
favour of this woman to forgive a debt due to her husband for which his brother was 
in confinement. She forgave it, leaving a written order behind her, to which she 
affixed her mark. After the ceremonies by the side of the river, and near the pile, 
were concluded, she laid herself down on the pile, placing one arm under the head of 
the deceased, and the other over his breast, and they were thus tied together. At 
the time of lighting the pile, the rain fell in torrents, and the fire was so partially 
lighted that during half an hour it only singed her clothes and her hair. This devo« 
ted female, however, remained in the same posture on the pile till the rain ceased^ 
when, in a few seconds, the fire devoured her. It was reported that she had coha* 
bited with others, but she denied it before she ascended the pile. 

An English clergyman, now deceased, once related to me two scenes fo which he 
had been an eye-witness : one was that of a young woman who appeared to possess 
the most pei feet serenity of mind during every part of the preparatory ceremonies : 
calm and placid, she acted as though unconscious of the least danger ; she smfled 
at some^ gave presents to others, and walked round theftmeral pile, and laid herself 
down by the dead body, with as much composure as though she had been about to 
take rest at night. The ot^er scene was very different : the woman, middle aged 
and corpulent, appeared to go through the business with extreme reluctance and 
agitation: the bramhuns watched her, followed her closely, held her up, and led 
her round the fuaeial pUe, and seemed to feel uneasy till they bad tied her fiist to 


the dead body, and had brought the feggots and bamboo levers over her. Thi« 
clergyman added, that he saw one of this woman's arms move, as in convulsive mo- 
tions, for some time after the pile was lighted. The Hindoos say, that it is a proof 
the woman was a great sinner, if any part of her body is seen to move after the pile 
has been lighted ; and, on the contrary, if she is not seen tp move, they exclaim— 
< Ah ! what a perfect creature she was ! What a blessed sahu-mnrunii was her's/ 
A" respectable native once told me, that he had heard of a woman's shrieking dread- 
fully after she was laid jon the pile, which, hoiyeveri did not 3a ve her life.* 

Instances of children of eight or ten years of ago, thus devoting themselves ai*e 
not uncommon. About the year 1801, a child eight years old was burnt with the 
dead body of Huree-nat'ha, a bramhun of Elo, near Calcutta. At the tiine the 
news arrived of the death of this child's husband, she was playing with other chil- 
dren at a neighbour's house. Having just before been severely chastised by her 
aunt, and having formerly suffered much from her, she resolved to bum with the 
dead body, in order to avoid similar treatment in future ; nor could her relations in- 
duce her to alter her resolution. She said she would enter the fire, but would not 
go back to her aunt. As soon as she was laid on the pile she appeared to die, (no 
doubt from fear) even before the fire touched her. The Hindoos say, it is often the 


ease, that the female who is really Sadhwee, is united to her husband immediately 
on hearing the news of his death, without the delay of the fire.-»-Another instance 
of the same kind occurred in the year 1802, at yfirisha, near Calcutta, a child, eight 
years old, was burnt with her husband. Before she went to the funeral pile, she 
was compelled to put her hand upon some burning coals, and hold it there for some 
tilne, to convince her friends that she should not shrink at the sight of the fire.— 
About the year 1794, a girl, fifteen years old, who had been delivered of her first 
child about three weeks, was burnt with her husband, DevS-churunii, a bramhun 
of Miiniramo-poorii^ near Barrack-poora. Her friends remonstrated with her, and 


• I am craiibly Informed, Chat on the bankB of the BrttmhO-pootr», the Hindoo! do not lay fiiffiots en Uie bo- 
dies, nor are hsmboos naed as le^en to bold them down, but the widow Ucs on the pile with her arms round he^ 

hoiband, and the fire is kindled beneath them. 


308 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Part m. Chap. iv. 


did all except (what thej ought to have done) use force. When they urged the 
situation of the infant she would leave, she begged they would not disturb her mind 
with such things : it was only a female child,' and therefore the leaving it was of less 
consequence. After she had mounted the pile, she sat up, and assured the officia* 
ting bramhun she theii recollected, that in a former birth he was her fiither. 

Women eiglity years ol Jand upwards sometimes bum with their husbands. About 
the year 1791, Gopala-nayalunkara, a very learned bramhun died at Niideeya. Ha 
Was supposed to have been one hundred years old at the time of his death; his wife 
about eighty. She was almost in a state of second childhood, yet her gray hairs avail* 

ed nothing against this most abominable custom. A similar instance occurred about 
the year 1809 at Shantee-poora, when the wife of Ramo-chilndrti-vusoo, a kayuBt^hfip 

at the age of eighty or eighty-five^ was burnt with the corpse of her husband, 

Mrityoonjuya, the first Sangskritn pandit in the College of Fort-WiUiam, onca 
saw a bramhunee at Rungn-pooru, who had escaped firom the pile. She was carried 
away by a mat-maker, from whom she eloped, and afterwards lived with a Mosul- 
man groom. About the year 1804, a woman who had lived with a man as his wife 
burnt herself with his body at Kalee-ghatu, near Calcutta. Some years ago, a sepej 
from the upper provinces died at Khiddiro-pooru, near Calcutta. The woman wh* 
had cohabited with him went to the^ead land-owner, and requested him to provide 
the materials for burning her with Xbe dead body. He did so, and this adultereii 
entered the flames, and was consunied with the dead body of her paramour. 

In Orissa the defenceless widow is compelled to cast herself into a pit of fire. H^ 
on the death of a raja, his wife bum herself with him, his concubines are aetsed, and^ 
by beating, dragging, binding, and other forcible methods, are compelled to throw 
themselves into the pit, where they are all destroyed together. On this subject I beg 
leave to insert a letter drawn up by Poroshoo-ramn, a learned bramhQn : < Shree P6- 
* roshoo-ramn writes : I have my self seen the wives of one of the rajas of Oorisya bum 
< with their husband : these are the particukrs : After the death of rsya GopS-nat'hii* 

BiTRiriiro ov widows alitb.] OFTHEHINDOOS. 909 

^ de vu, the head queen, of her own accord, being prepared to be bnmt with the bodj^ 
< a pit was dug, and quantities of wood piled up in it, upon which the corpse was laid, 
( and upon this more ftggots ; when the fire blazed with the greatest fuiy, the head 
^ queen cast herself into the flames and perished. The two other wives of the raja 
' were unwilling to fellow this example ; but they were seized bj force, and throwA 
^iato tiie pit, and oonsumed. This happened about the year 1793.* 

The widows of the yogees, a description of weavers, are sometimes buried alive 
with their deceased husbands. If the person have died near the Ganges, the grave 
is dug by the side of the river; at the bottom of which they spread a new cloth, and 
on it lay the dead body. The widow then bathes, puts on new clothes and paints 
her feet, and after various ceremonies, descends into the pit that is to swallow her 
up : in this living tomb she sits down, and places the head of her deceased husband 
on her knee, having a lamp near her. The priest (not a bramhon) sits by the side 
of the grave, and repeats certain ceremonies, while the firiends of the deceased walk 
round the grave several times repeating < Hnree bol ! Huree b&l !* that is, literal* 
ly, ' Repeat the name of Horee ;' but in its common use it is equivalent to Huzza ! 
Huzza ! The friends (if rich) ca3t into the grave garments, sweetmeats, sandal wood, 
roopees, milk, curds, darified butter, or something of this kind; and the widow 
directs a few trifles to be given to her friends or children. The son also casts a new 
garment into the grave, with flowers, sandal wood, &c. after which earth is carefully 
thrown all round the widow, till it has arisen as high as her shoulders, when the re^ 
lations throw earth in as fiist as possible, till they have raised a mound of earth on 
the grave, when they tread it down with their feet, and thus bury the miserable 
wretch alive. They place on the grave, sandal wood, rice, curds, a lamp, &c. and 

then, walking round the grave three times, return home. ^Among the voishnfi^ 

tus also are instances of widows being buried alive with the dead bodies of their 
husbands . On enquiring among the bramhuns and other Hindoos employed in the 
Setanpere printing-oiBce, I found that these murders were much more frequently 
practised than 1 had supposed : almost every one had seen 
gr bad heard of them firom undoubted authority. 

310 HISTORY, LITERATURE, and RELIGION, [Pabt hi. Chap. iv. 

I could easily increaiae the number of these aecounts so as to form a volume ; but 
I am not anxious to swell this work with more facts of this nature : these are sui^ 
ficient to fill the mind of the benevolent with the deepest compassion for the miser- 
able victims of this shocking superstition. 

The Hindoo shastrus permit a woman to alter her resolution, even on the funer&l 
pile, and command such a person to observe a severe fast as an atonement. This 
fast, however, may be commuted by gifts to bramhuns. The Vishnoo poorana di- 
rects such a female to become a bramhucharS, which profession obliges the person 
to abstain from every pleasure, from chewing betle or other exhUirating herbs, from 
anointing herself with oil,* &c. Notwithstanding this provision of the shastrS 
I am informed that at present a widow, if she go to the dead body, declaring that 
she will be burnt with it, is never permitted to return : or, should such a case occur, 
she is delivered up to persons of the lowest cast to do what they will with her : she 

never goes back to her relations, ^ 



The desire of Hindoo women to die with their husbands; and the calmness of 
many in going through the ceremonies which precede this terrible death, are dr- 
cumstances almost, if not altogether, unparalleled. It is another proof of the amaz- 
ing power which this superstition has over the minds of its votaries.+ Among other 
circumstances which urge them to this dreadful deed we may tank the following : 
First, the vedfis, and other shastrfis, recommend it, and promise the widow that 
she shall deliver her husband from hell, and enjoy a long happiness with him in 
heaven ; secondly, long custom has &miliarized their minds to the deed j thirdly, 

!!n • HI T "" '*' **' "'"='""' """"*- "'-» ^ "-'^ ^ «» «•«- upon 0,0 b^, 

even Aaron t beard, that west down to the ikirti of his garments." 

»..U"f r'vllf.V'K''^"'"' Ithrightth^the wife lea»e the world with her hud«nd , .«.c«. never b. 
to expect. ''^- "■"' """"""- *»'• <«iedi««.erbefo« me, «.d if I Uve, 1 h.venothlngb«t«,„»w 


by this act iliej escape the disgrace of widowhood, and their names are recorded 
among the hmiourable of their fiLmilies;* fourthly, they avoid being starved and ill* 
treated by their relations ; and lastly, the Hindoos treat the idea of death with com- 
parative indifference^ as being only changing one body for another, as the snake 
changes his skin. If they considered death as introducing a person into an unaltera* 
ble state of existence, and God, the judge, as requiring purity of heart, no doubt 
these ideas would make them weigh well a step pregnant with such momentous con- 

The conduct of the bramhnns at the burning of widows is so unfeeling, that those 
who have represented them to the world as the mildest and most amiable of men, 
need only attend on one of these occasions to convince them, that they have great* 

ly imposed on mankind. Where alkmily of bramhans suppose that the burning of 
a mother, or their brother's or uncle's wife, or any other female of the fiinfily, is 
necessary to support the credit of the family, tli» woman knows she must go, and 
that her death is expected* She is aware also that if she should not burn, she will 
be treated with the greatest cruelty, and continually reproached, as having entailed 
disgrace orn the &mily. The bramhun who has greatly assisted me in thi^work has 
very seriously assured me, that he believed violence was seldom used to compel a 
woman to ascend the pile ; nay, that after she has declared her re^lutlon, her friends 
use various arguments to discover whether she be likely to persevere or not, for if 
she go to the water side, and there refuse to bum, they consider it an indelible dis- 
grace on the fiimily ; that it is not uncommon for them to demand a proof of her re- 
solution, by obliging her to hold her finger in the fire; if she be able to endure this, 
they conclude they are safe, and that she will not alter her resolution. If, however, 
she should flinch at the sight of the pile, &c. they remain deaf to whatever she says ; 
they hurry her through the preparatory ceremonies, attend closely upon her, and go 
through the work of murder in the most determined manner. 

* It is common at Bmares to set op by the side of the river, itoBe maPumentB to the memorf of widows who 
have beeo burat wkfa the bodies of deceased hasbands. Persoos coming from bhthing bow to these stones^ and 
spraokle water on them, repeating the words Sfitee, S&lciy i. e. iikmU. 


312 HISTORY, LITERATURE, awd RELIGION, [Paet hi. Chap. iv. 

Some years ago two attempts were made, under the immediate superbtendance of 
Dr. Carej, to ascertain the number of widows burnt alive within a given time. The 
first attempt was intended to ascertain the number thus burnt within thirty miles of 
Calcutta, during one year, viz. in 1803. Persons, selected for the purpose, were sent 
from place to place through that extent, to enquire of the people of each town or vil- 
lage how many had been burnt within the year. The return made a total of FOUR 
HUNDRED AND THIRTY-EIGHT. Yet very few places east or west of the 
river Hoogly were visited. To ascertain this matter with greater exactness, ten 

persons were, in the year 1804, stationed in the different places within the above- 
mentioned extent of country ; each person^s station was marked out, and he conti- 
nued on the watch for six months, taking account of every ipistance of a widow's be- 
ing burnt which came under his observation. Monthly reports were sent in ; and 
the result, though less than the preceding year's report, made the number between 
TWO AND THREE HUNDRED for the year ! —If within so small a space se- 
veral hundred widows were buri|^ alive in one year, HOW MA NY THOUSANDS 
EXTENSIVE A COUNTRY AS HINDOOST'HAN ! • So that, in fiict, the 
funeral pile devours more than war itself ! How truly shocking! Nothing equal to 
it exists in the whole work of human cruelty. What a tragic history would a com- 
plete detail of these burnings make I 

• It will easily oecnr to a person famUiar witk tfie hoi j fcriptares, what a great dilTereBce there is be> 
twixt the comioaads of these scriptares respectlsg the widow aad the orphan, and the Hindoo shastrfls. In (h# 

' twiner the DiYiae Beliis declares htmseif to be «<Uie Ather of the fatherlev, the hnriNUMl of the widow.'* 




VolatUary Suicide^ (KamyS M&rSnit.)* 

A NUMBER of expressions in seyeral shastriis countenance Uie practice of to« 
luntary suicide ;t and some of the smritees^ and pooranus, lay down rules for Kamju* 
muriina ; declaring^ it, however, a crime in a bramhun ; but meritorious in a shoodru. 
The person is directed first to offer an atonement for all his sins by making a present 
of gold to bramhuns, and honouring them with a feast; afterwards, putting on new 
apparel and adorning himself with garlands of flowers, he is accompanied to the river 
by a band of music. If he has any property, he gives it to whom he pleases : then^ 
sitting down by the side of the river, he repeats the name of his idol, and proclaim^ 
that he is now about to renounce his life in this place in order to obtain such or such 
a benefit* After this, he aqd his friends proceed on a boat, and, fastening pans of 
water to his body, he plunges into the stream. The spectators cry out ' Haree bul I 
Hiireeball* Huzza! Huzza! and then retire. Sometimes a person of property 
kindly interferes, and offers to relieve the wants of the victim if he will abstain from 
drowning himself ^ but the deluded man replies that he wants nothing, as he is go« 
ing to heaven ! 

When aperjso;^ is afflicted with a supposed incurable distemper, or is in distress^ 
•r despised^ it is common for him to form the resolution of parting with life in the 

* Fram kfim^ '^lire, und m5r3n9, d««t^. 

f Many, piotea srocks in the ED};lish laojg^uage %Ue too much coantenanee to this dreadful crtme. What it 
it that anites Domiaai christians and heathens in so many points of doctrine and practice ? Miinoo says, ' A man- 
'iipii infeeted byafe a^d by sorrow^ let its oecvpier always cheerfuLly quit' Mr. Hume says, * Whenever paia 

* or sorrow so far ofercoflsc ny pf tience« as to jn^ke me tired of life» I may conclude that I am re-caUed fh>m 

* my station in the plainest and most express terms.' * Where is the crime of torniag a few ounces of blood from 

* Ibeir natural channel ?*-> Hiese are the opinions of Munoo and Hume. The christian sysem, in every part, 
teaches ns to say, •« All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my chanj^ie come." In England, whef« 
the idea prevails that self-morder excludes from the hope of mercy in the next world, suicides are very common. 
Whit then mnsi they be in a country containinic so much unrelieved distress as thu, and where the inhabitants are 
Pcnudedyibatself-raarder in the Ganges'i) the very road to futuie bappinessl 



Ganges; or, the crime is committed after a vow, at the time of making which the 
person prayed for some jfavour in the next birth, as riches, freedom from sorrow, 
&c. Sick persons sometimes abstain from food for several days while sitting near 
the river, that life may thus depart from them in sight of the holy stream ; but the 
greater number drown themselves in the presence of relations ; and instances are 
mentioned J in which persons in the act of self-murder have been forcibly pushed back 
into the stream by tlieir own oflFspring ! There are diflFerent places of the Ganges 
where it is considered as most desirable for persons thus to murder themselves, and 
in some cases auspicious days are chosen on which to perform this work of religious 
merit; but a person's drowning himself in any part of the river is supposed to be fol- 
lowed witli immediate happiness. At Sagurii island it is accounted an auspicious sign 
if the person is speedily seized by a shark, or an alligator ; but his future happiness 
U supposed to be very doubtful if he should remain long in the water before he is 
drowned. The British Government, for some years past, has sent a guard of se- 
poys to prevent persons from murdering themselves and their children at this junc- 
tion of the Ganges with the sea, at the annual festivals held in this place.* 


Some years ago, as Shivii-Shiromunee,t a bramhiin, was returning from bathing 
wiih Kashee-nat^hij, another bramhun, at Shantee-poorQ, they saw a poor old man 
sitting on the bank of the river, and asked him what he was doing there. He reglied, 
that he was destitute of friends, and was about to renounce his life in the Ganges. 
Kash^-nat^ha urged him not to delay then, if he was come to die ; — ^but the man seem- 
ed to hesitate^ and replied, that it was very cold. The bramhnn, (hinting to his com- 
panion that he wished to see the sport before he returned home), reproached the poor 
trcmbling'wretch for his cowardice, and seizing his hand, dragged him to the edge 
of the bank, where he made him sit down, rubbed over him the purifying clay of the 
river, and ordered him to repeat the proper incantations. While he was thus, with 
his eyes closed, repeating these forms^ he slipped down^ and sunk into the water, 

which was verj deep,-^and perished ! 

. » 

• Id the year 1805, at this place, I saw a bramliCaec (dripping with wet, and abWeriBg witb coW), who hoA 
jwt been prevented by th.? «epoys from drowniog henelf f— and dacioglKijr c©ntiimaiice tbere XJie8rdor<ieveral 
mothers who bad been prevented from mnrderiag their cbildreji. 

-f This mau related the fact to me himself. 


About the year 1790, a young roan of the order of dandeSs, took up his abode at 
Kakshalee, a village near Nudeeja^ for a few months, and began to grow very cor* 
pulent. Reflecting that a person of his order was bound to a life of mortificatioB, 
and feeling his passions grow stronger and stronger, he resolved to renounce his life 
in the Ganges. He requested his friends to assist him in this act of self-murder, and 
thej supplied him with a boat, some cord, and two water pans. He then proceeded 
on the boat into the middle of the stream, and, filling the pans with water, fastened 
one to his neck, and the other round his loins, and in this manner descended into the 
water — to rise no more ! in the presence of a great multitude of applauding specta- 
tors. A few years after this another dimdee, while suffering under a fever, renoua- 
ced his life in the Ganges at Nudeeya ; and nearly at the same time, a dundS at 
Ariyadah, about four miles from Calcutta, in r state of indisposition, refusing all 
medical aid (in which indeed he acted according to the rules of his order), cast hiiQ* 
self into the river from a boat, and thus renounced life. > 

Gunga-dhara-shastree, a learned bramhan, informed me, that in the year 1806 l|e 
spent near two months at Prnyagri, during which time he saw ahout thirty persons 
drown themselves ! Almost every day he saw or heard of one or more siinnyasecs 
who thus terminated their existence; and several instances occurred in which a man 

 . • * ^ 

and his wife, having no children, drowned themselves together, praying for some 
blessing in the next birth. 

A friend, in a letter written in the year 1813, says, ^ The circumstance which you 
* heard me relate of the poor leper, took place at Futwa, a little more than a ye^r 
*ago. On hearing the people of my boat declare that a man was going to be drown- 
'ed, I looked out, and saw the poor creature, who had been deprived by disease of 
^his fingers and toes, but who in other respects appeared healthy, eating very hear- 
^tily in the presence of his friends. The bank being high, I could not leave the boat 
Hill we had proceeded to a considerable distance fi*om the place where the man sat. 
^ As 1 was running towards the spot, I heard the people on the top of the boat call 
^ out, < He is drowned ! be is drowned !' His attendants, who appeared to be his re- 

3116 IlISXaRY, LlTEllATURE, akd RELldlON, [I»a»t m. Chaf. iv. 

^latives, fa^d assisted him to descend the bank, but whether thej pushed him in, or 

^ whether he weht into the water of his own accord, I cannot tell. He made great 

^efforts to resist the strettm, and reach the side, and struggled much before he sunk. 
^ — I cttdeaToured to impress on the spectators the heinousness of this crime, but thej 

* smiled at my concern, and said, they had only complied with the wishes of the de- 
^ ceased, who had been deprired by disease of his hands and feet.' 

Another friend, in a letter written at Cutwa in the year 1812, says, < Last week I 
^ witnessed the burning of a leper. A pit, about ten cubits in depth was dug, and 

* a fire placed at the bottom of it. The poor man roUed himself into it, but instant* 

* ly on feeling the fire begged to be taken out, and struggled hard for that purpose. 
' His mother and sister, howeverT^hrust him in again ; and thus, a man who to all 
^ appearance might have survived several years, was cruelly burnt to death. I find 
^ that the praetice is not uncomman in these parts.^ This poor wretch died with 
the notion, that by thus purifying his body in the fire, he should receive a happy 
transmigration into a healthful body : whereas, if he had died by the disease, he 
would, after fc/ur births^ have appeared on earth again as a leper. 

Mr. C. in a letter from Agra, dated in the year 1812, says, * I went out a few 
^mornings ago, and came to an enclosed place, which, on enquiry, I found had been 
^ rendered sacred by ten persons having been buried alive there : I am informed, that 
' many persons visit the place every Monday aRernoon for worship ; and that once or 

* twice a year large crowds assemble here, and at another similar place near the city. 

* There is great reason to fear that this practice is very common in these parts* At 

* Allahabad many drown themselves every year; and at Yrinda-vonii many are bl^ 
' ried alive or drowned every year, probably every month.' 

The Hindoos relate that there existed formerly at Ksfaeeru, a village near Nu- 
^^ya, an instrument called kuruviit, which was used by devotees to cut oiT their own 
heads. The instrument was made in the shape of a half mooB^ with a sharp edge, 

VoLtrKTAAir SuiciUB.] OF THE HINDOOS. 317 

knd was placed at the back of the neck^ having chains fastened sit the t^o extrenit« 
ties. The io&tuated devotee, placing his feet in the stirrups, gave a violent Jerk^ 
and severed his head from his bodj* 


. Persons casting themselves from precipices ^ l^c. 

ANOTHER way in which the Hindoo shastros allow a person to renounce life| 
IS bjr throwing himself from a mountain, or some other eminence. Bengal is a per- 
fect plain ; and I have not learnt how far this permission of the shastro is acted upon 
in the mountainous parts of Hindoos t 'hand. 


Dying under the wheels ofJ&gUnnath&^s car. 

A MONGST the immense multitudes assembled at the drawing of this car, are 

numbers afBicted with diseases, and others involved in worldly troubles, or worn 
out with age and neglect* It often happens that such persons, after offering up a 
prayer to the idol, that they may obtain happiness^ or riches in the next birth, cast 
themselves under the wheels of the car, and are instantly crushed to death. Great 
numbers of these cars iare to be seen in Bengal, and every year, in some place or 
other, persons thus destroy themselves. At Jagnnoat^hu-kshetiu, in Orissa, several 
•perish annually. M«^y are accidentally thrown down by the pressure of the 

crowd, and are crushed to death. The victims whb devote themselves to death in 
these forms have an entire confidence that they shall^ by this meritorious act of sel& 
murder, attain to happiness. 

I beg leave here to insert the following extract of a letter from an officer, to a 
friend, to confirm the facts related in this and the two preceding sections : ^ I have 

318 HISTORY, LITERATURE, akd RELIGION, [Part hi. Chap, m 

^ known a woman, whose courage failed her on tlie pile, bludgeoned by her own dear 
^ kindred. This I have told the author of '^The Vindication of the Hindoos."— > 
^ I have taken a Gentoo out of the Ganges : I perceived him at night, and called 
' out to the boat-men. — Sir, he is gone ; he belongs to god. Yes, but take him up, 
^ and God will get him hereafter. We got him up at the last gasp : I gave liim 
* some brandy and. called it physic. O Sir, my cast is gone ! No, it is physic. It is 
' not that, Sir ! but my family will never receive me. I am an outcast ! What! for 

^saving your life ? Yes. Never mind such a fiimily. 1 let above one hundred 

^ men out of limbo at Jngunnafha : there were a thousand dead and dying, — all in 
^ limbo starving, to extort money from them.* 



THE people in some parts of India, particularly the inhabitants of Orissa, and 
of the Eastern parts of Bengal, frequently offer their children'to the goddess Gan- 
ga. The following reason is assigned for this practice : WI:en a woman has been 
long married, and has no children, it is common for the roan, or his wife, or both of 
them, to make a vow to the goddess Ganga, that if she will bestow the blessing of 
children upon them, they will devote the first-bom to her. If after this vow they 
have children, the eldest is nourished till a proper age, which may be three, four, or 
more years, according to circumstances, when, on a particular day appointed for 
bathing in any holy part of the river, they take the child with them, and offer it to 
this goddess : the child is encouraged to go farther and farther into the water till it 
is carried away by the stream, or is pushed off by its inhuman parents. Some- 
times a stranger seiases the child, and brings it up, but it is abandoned by its parents 
from the moment it floats in the water, and if no one be found more humane than they, 
it infallibly perishes. The principal places in Bengal where this species of murder* 

* I baTe not the authority of this (^piitreinftn for iaserting this extract ; but I relj on bis known bencYoleoce 
to ezcQse the freedom I have thus lakeo. 

IxFiNTiciD*.] OF THE HINDOOS. 319 

is practiced, are, Ganga-Sagurd, where the river Hooglj di8einbog;ues itself into the 
sea; VoidyfivatS, a town about fourteen miles to the north of Calcutta; Jrivenee, 
Nudeeja, Chakdoh^ and Prdjaga* 

The following shocking custom appears to prevail principally in the northern dis-^ 
tricts of Bengal. If an infant refuse the mother's breast, and decline in health, it is 
said to be under the influence of some malignant spirit. Such a child is sometimes 
put into a basket, and hung up in a tree where tliis evil spirit is supposed to reside. 
It is generally destroyed by ants, or birds of prey, but sometimes perishes by neg* 
lect, though fed and clothed daily. If it should not be dead at the expiration of 
three days, the mother receives it home again, and nurses it^ but this seldom hap* 
pens. The late Mr. Thomas, a missionary, once saved and restored to its mother, 
an infant which had fidlen out of a basket, at Bholahatii, near Malda, at the mo« 
ment a shackal was running away with it. As this gentleman and Mr. Carey were 
afterwards passing under the same tree, they found a basket hanging in the branches 
containing the skeleton of another infiint, which had been devoured by ants. The 
tustom is unknown in many places, but, it is to be feared, it is too common in others. 

In the North Western parts of Hindoost^hanu, the horrid practice of sacrificing 
female children as soon as born, has been known from time immemorial. The Hin- 

dooQ ascribe this custom to a prophecy delivered by a bramhnn to Dweepa-singhn, a 
raJQ-poota king, that his race would lose the sovereignty through one of his female 
posterity. Another opinion is, that this shocking practice has arisen out of the law 
of marriage^ which obliges the bride^s father to pay almost divine honours to the 
bridegroom :* hence persons of high cast, unwilling thus to humble themselves for 
the sake of a daughter, destroy the infant. In the Pfinjab, and neighbouring dis- 
tricts, to a great extent, a cast of Sikhs, and the raju-poottis, as well as many of the 
bramhans and other casts, murder their female children as soon as bom. I have 
made particular enquiry into the extent of these murders, but as the crime is per- 

* At the time of marriage, Ihe \iof% father taking bold of the knee of the boy, worships him, by preseattiig 
otTeriags of rice, flowen, paint, &c. and promisiog to give to him his daoghter. 

990 HISTORY, LITERATURE, aiid RELIGION, [Part hi. Chaf. iv^ 

petr^ted in secret, have not been able to procnre very exact information* A gen« 
tleman whose information oja Indian cuatooas is very correct^ imforms me, that thia 
practice was, if it is not at present, universal among all the raju-poots, who, he sup* 
poses, destroy all their daughters : he expresses his fears, that, notwithstanding 
their proQiises to the Government of Bombay, made in con^uence of the very he* 
nevolent exertions of Mr.DuocaD, the practice is almost generally continued. Hit 
adds, the custom prevails in the Punjab, in Malwa, Jcud-pooro, Jeaselmere, Guze* 
rat^ Kutch and perhaps Sind^ if not in other provinces. 

A friend at Ludhana, in a letter written in the year 1812, says, * The horrible 
^custom of murdering female infants is very common among the rajil-pootus. One 

* of these fellows had been induced, by the tears of his wife, to spare the life of a. 
^ daughter born to him. The girl grew up, and had arrived at the age of thirteen,. 
^ but, unfortunately for her, had not been demanded in marriage by any one. The. 

* rajii-pootn b^gan toapprehepd the danger of her bringing a disgrace upon the femi- 
' ly, and resolved to prevent it by putting the girl to death. Shortly after forming 
' this atrocious design, he either overheard, or pretended to have overheard, some 
^ of his neighbours speak of his daughter in a way that tended to encrease his fears, 
^ when, becoming outrageous, he rushed upon the poor girl, and cut her head off. 
< The native magistrate confined him for a year, and seized all his property. But 
^ this was only bepause the girl was marriageable; infiints are murdered with per* 
« feet impunity/ 

^ The Jatus, a people who abound in these parts,* sayn a friend, in a.Ie|Aer from 
Agra, dated May, 1819, ^destroy their female children as soon as borQ> but being 
' now afiraid of thp Eaglish, th^ remove their pregnant women before the time of 
^delivery into the distifct of the raja of Bburuta-poora, that they may tberie^oommit 

* these horrid murders with impunity. Oh ! the dark places of the earth are full of 

* the habitatipns of cruelty J In these parts there are not many women burned with 

* their husbands, and when they do burn, they are not held down with bamboos, but 

* left to themselves and the fire ; but if any one run away or jump out, they cut her 


^do¥m wkh a sword, and throw her into the fire again. This was done at a flight of 
^ steps just by, a little before the English took this plaoe ; since which time I have 
^ not heard of anj such events occurring.' 


Ascetics devoured in forests by wild beasts. 


BESIDE the dreadfiil waste of human life, in practising superstitious austerities^ 
great numbers of Hindoo devotees, who visit forests as an act of seclusion from the 
w:orkl, perish by wild beasts. The author, when on\t visit to Sagnru island in the 
jrear 1806, was informed by a jogee that six of fns companions had been devoured 
<Aere by tygers in the three preceding months ; that while absent in the forest gather- 
ing sticks^ he heard their cries, and looking over the wall of the temple yard in which 
they lived, he saw the tjgers dragging them by the neck into the forest. Other 
forests infested by wild beasts are visited by these yogees^ many of whom are devour- 
ed every year. Numbers of secular persons too, drawn to the annual festivals cele* 
bra^d in these forests^ fall victims to the tygers. 


Pcrisking in cold regions. 

• ,0 

THE Hindoos have a way to heaven. without dying. If the person who wishes 
to go this way to heaven, through vepeating certain incantations, survive the cold, 
he at last arrives at Himalnyfi, the residence of Shiva. Such a person is said ' to 
go the Great Journey.' Yoodhist'hiro, according to the pooranus, went this way 
to heaven; but his companions BhSmo, (jrjoona, Nfikoolo, S6ha-d6vn, and Drou- 
pBdee, perished by the cold on the mounUin. This forms another method in which 
the Hindoos may meritoriously put a period to their existence. It is also one of 
the Hindoo atonements for great offences. . 

3S8 HISTORY, LITERATURE, awd REtlG10N> [Part hi. Chat.iv. 



It 18 difficult to form an estimate of the number of Hindoos who perish annual- 
IjT^^the victims of superstition ; and th» author fears any reasonable conjecture would 
appear to many as highly exaggerated, and intended to- prejudice the public mind 
a^iinst the Hindoos as idolators. He wishes to feel and avow a just abhorrence 
•f idolatry, and to deplore it as one of the greatest scourges ever employed by a 
Being.^ terrible in anger, to punish nations who have rejected the direct and simple 
means which nature and conscience supply of knowing himself; but he would use 
no unfair means of rendering even- idolatry- detestable; and with this assurance, he 
now enters on as correct a conjecture respecting the number of victims aBmiattj^sa- 
<A*ifided on the altars of the Indian gods^ as he is able : 


JVidows burnt ali'de on the Funeral pile, in HindoosVhanHj • • 5600 

Pilgrims perishing on the roads and at sacred places,'^ - - - 4600 

Persons drowning themselves in the G<mges^ or buried or burnt alivey - 500 

Children imrnolateji, including, the daughters of the rajfi^poottls, - - 500 

Sick persons xchose death is hastened ondhe banks ofth^ Gcmges^\ • 500 


Totaly 10.500 

***' Buddntck in OritsM^'Matf SO/A, 1809. We know that we are approachmg Juggernaut (and yet we are more 
than fifty miles from it) by the haman bones which we haiic seen for »Miie days streweit'by tite way. At iifii 
place we have been Joined by several large bodies of pilgrims, perhaps 9000 in number, « ho have come from vari- 
ous parts of Northern India. Some old persons are among them v* ha wish to die at Jnrgernant. Nambers of 
pilgrims die on the road ; and their bodies generally remain unburied. On a plain by the river, near the pil- 
grim's Garavansera at this place, there are mote than a hnndred^ulls. The dogs, jacluUs, and vultures, seem 
to live here on human prey. 

** Juggernauts \Mh June. — I have seen Juggemant. The scene at Buddruck is but the vestibule to Juggemaut; 
No record of ancient or modern history Mn give, 1 ihinky an adequate Idea of this valley of death; it may betra* 
ly compared h iih the ^* valley of Hionom.'* I have alM> visited the Fand plains by the sea, iu some places whitened 
witlrth^bonesjof the pilgrims; and another place a little wayout of the town, called by tke£ogIish,theQo]p>tha, 
n here the dead bodies are nsually cast forth ; and where dogs and vulture^are ever seen. 

^^^Juggtrnauty SiJi June, I beheld another distreasing^fcceoe tbb morning at the Place of Sknlts ; a poor woman 
lying dead, or nearly dead, and her two children Iff her, looking at the dogs and vultures which were near. The 
people passed by without noticins: the children. I asked them where was their home. They said, ** they had no 
home but where thHr mother was.**" O, there if no pity at Juggerjiaut ! no tenderness of hear^in Moloch's king- 
dom." Buchanan* s Resfcwehes in India, . 

A person who has lived several yeak^ near the (empleof JQgfinnat'bi^, ioQrissa, in a letter to the author, says, 
" I cannot pronounce on the numbers who annually perish at Ji^gftnnai*hi^, anJ on their way thither ; in some yean 
they do not amount tq more than 209 perhaQs \ but in others the>^ may exceed 2000." 

f A gentleman, whose opioiou is of great weight, sa^s^ *M believe this estimate b far below (he truth.*' 



'Supposing there to be five thousand towns and' larg;^ tillages in Hindoosfhano^ 
and that one- widow is burnt from each of these places in one year, no less a num- 
ber than fiot thousand helpless widows are annuallj/ burnt alive in this countrj; but if 
we are guided by the ^calculation made at Calcutta {see page 3\2) it will appear, 
that at least two widows in every larj^e Village must be murdered anni^ally, includ- 
ing all the' large t3wns in the same ratio. If so, instead of five thousand murders, 
the number must be doubled ; and it will appear that TEN THOUSAND WI- 
DOWS P£RISIf on the funeral pile in the short period of twelve months ;.nor is 
this havock like the irregular return of war; on tl^e contrary, it is as. certain aqd 
as Iktal as the march of death itself. 

The second calculation will not appear exaggerated, I am persuaded, when we 
consider the testimony of Dr. B^ichanan, added to that of an officer, inserted in the 
31 9th page of this work ; to which I could add, that of many respectable natives : 

^by fevers, by the dysentery, and other diseases arising from exposure to the 

Bight air, and the privations of a long journey, crowds are carried off in a few days : 
sometimes numbers involuntarily fall under the i^heels of the monstrous car of Ju- 
gannat^hu : five or six hundred persons, principally women, I. am informed, were 
crushed to death be«brethe'temple of Jngiinnat*hu, in the year 1810, by the' mere 
pressure^of the crowd. The reader must consider that these sacred places, the resort 
of pilgrims, are spread all over Hindoos!' hann, and that pilgrims travel to them from 
distances requiring JQuruiets of three^ four and £ve months. 

In the opinion pf every person to whom J have she^vn tbe.manu^crlpt, the other 

calculations fall far below the real fact. 

But if these calculations are notl>eyond the truth, what a horrible view do they 
present of the effects of superstition. Since the commencement of the bramhinical 
system, millions of victims have been immolated on the. altars of its gods; and,not« 
withstanding the Influence of Europeans, the whole of Hiiidoost'hanu may be term- 
ed '( a field of bloed unto this day." 

394 HISTORY, LITERATURP, and RELIGION, [Paji? ih. CgiAW.^% 

I oHist leave it to the pen of tlie future historian an^ pdet to give these scenes that 
just colouring which ivill harrow up the soul of future generations: I must le|ive 
to them the description of these legitimate murders, perpetrate^ at the coannan^ 
and in the presence of the high-priests of idolatry ; who, by the magic spell of su* 
perstition, have been able to draw men to quit their homes, and travel on foot a 
thousand miles, for the sake of beholding an idol cut oi^t of the trunk of a neigh« 
bouring tree, or dug from an adjoining qiiarry ; — ^to prevail on men to commit mur- 
ders to supply human victims for the altars of religiqn ; — on mothers to butcher their 
own children ; — on friends to force diseo^ed relations into the arms of dea^h, whil^ 
struggling to extric ate themselves ; — on children to apply the lighted torch to th^ 
pile that is to devour the living mother, who has fed them from her breasts, and 
dandled them on her knees. To crown the whole, these priests, of idolatry have 
persuaded men to worship them as gods, to lick the dust of their feet, and even to 
cut off lumps of their own flesh,* their own headst as offerings to the gods. 


Ceremonies performed on visiting holy places* 

THE founders of the Hindoo religion have taught that certain places, (Teert'hi- 
tt'hana)^ are peculiarly sacred ; that the performance of religious rites at these places 
is attended with* peculiar merit, and followed by extraordinary benefits. The source 
and confluence of sacred rivers; places where any of the phoenomena of nature have 
been discovered ; or where particular images have been set up by the gods them* 
Selves ;^ or where some god or graat saint has resided; or where distinguished re« 
ligious actions have been performed — ^have been pronounced sacred. 

Excited by the miraculous accounts inserted in the shastrns, multitudes visit thesa 
places ; others reside there for a time ; and some spend the last stages of life at a 

* See page 190, f See pai^e S16. t ^« pia/ce ivhere peiMin obtsia salYatiiMi : from Am, mUor 

Hon, and ifhanuy place. § At Benares Bhiyrt m Mud t» bave aet vp with Us own hands an imace of tie lingS. 


holy phee, to make sure of heaven after death* Rich men not imfirequentljr erett 
temples and cut pook at these places^ for the benefit of their sools. 

When a person resolves to visit anj one of these places, he fixes upon an ausp{«' 
cious day, and, two days preceding the eommenceraent of his journey, has his head 
shaved ; the next day he &sts; the following day he performs the shraddhu of the 
three preceding generations of hL» fiunily on both sides, and then leaves his house* • 
If a person act according to the shastru, he observes the following rules: First, 
till be returns to his own house, he eats rice which has not been wet in cleansing, 
and that only once a day ; he abstains from anointing his body with oil, and from 
eating fish. If he ride in a palanqueen, or in a boat, he loses half the benefits of 
his pilgrimage. If he walk on foot, he obtains the iiill finite The last day of his 
journey he fiists. On his arrival at the sacred spot, he has his whole body shaved ;* 
after wliich he bathes, and performs the shraddhu. It is necessary that he stay seven 
days at least at the holy place ; he may continue as much longer as he pleases. Every 
day during his slay he bathes, pays his devotions to the images, sifts befi>re them and 
repeats their names, and worships them, presenting such ofierings as he can afford. 
In bathing he makes fcooshu grass images for his relations, and bathes them. The 
benefit arising to relations will be as one to eight, compared with that of the person 
bathing at the holy place. When he is about to return, he obtains some of the offer- 
ings which have been presented to the idol or idols, and brings them home to give to 
his fiiends and neighbours. These consist of sweetmeats, flowers, tooKsee leaves, 
the ashes of cow-dung, &c. After celebrating the shraddhu, he entertains the bram« 
lions, and presents them with oil, fish, and all those things firom which he abstained. 
Having done this, he returns to his former course of living. The reward promised 
to the pilgrim is, that he sUsll ascend to the heaven of tiiat god who presides at 
the holy place he has visited. 

The following are some of the principal places in Hindoost'hanii to which persons 
go (Ml pilgrimage : 

« irUbeawonaaytketeoDljtiielnwadiliqrtwofliigenorherkdrbdiiadciitofl'. If a widow, ber whole 

396 HISTORY, LITERATURE, an0 RELIGION, [Pabt iii. €hap. iv 

MSya, rendered famous as the place where Vishnoo destroyed a giant. To pro- 
cure the salvation^of deceased relations, crowds of Hindoos perform the Bhraddlra 
here, on whom government levies a tax. Rich Hindoos have expended immense sums 
atulus place* 

iji[ashee (Benares). To this place multitudes of Iliildoos go on pilgrimage; the 
ceremonies of religion, when performed at the different holy places in this city, are 
supposed to be very efficacious. ^It is the greatest «eat of Hindoo learning in Hin- 
doost^hani']. Many Hindoos spend thidif last days here, wider the expectation, that 
dyjng here secures a place in Sliivu's heaven. To prove thctt a man dying in the very 
aet of sin at this place obtains happiness, the Hindoos relate, amongst other sto- 
ries, one r^sp^cting^a man who -died in a pan of hot spirits,' into which he accident- 
ally fell while carrying on an intrigue with the wife of a liquor merbhaift. Shivu is said 
tokhave come to this man m his last moments, and, whispering the name of Brnmha 
inj^is ear, to have sent him^o heaven. • Even Englishmen, the Hindoos diow, may heaven from.iiLashee, and they relate a story of an Englishman who had a great 
desire to die at tJbis place. After his arrival rthere, he gave money to bis head Hin- 
dQo servsint to build a temple, and perform the different ceremonies required, and k 
a short time afterjwards obtained bis 4esir«,. and died at 'KasbeS. I suppress the 
naia^ of, my country man from a vsense of srhame* 

.JPruyagH (AUafaabad). 'The Hindoos suppose that the Ganges, theTumoona 
and the Suruswiitee, three sacred rivers, unite their streams here. ' Many persons 
from all parts of India bathe at this place, and many choose a voluntary death here* 
Government levies a tax on the pilgrims. *He who has visited Gnya, Kashee arid 
Proyagn, flatters himself that he is possessed of extraordinary religious merits.